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COFKRIGHT DEPOSIT. 



STORIES 

FROM THE 

TRENCHES 

Funnij Tales 
The Soldiers Tell 



STORIES 
FROM THE TRENCHES 



Humorous and Lively Doings 
of Our Boys "Over There" 



Gathered From Authentic Sources 



BY 

CARLETON B. CASE 



SHREWESBURY PUBLISHING CO. 
CHICAGO 



*°< 






Copyright, 1918. by 
Shrewhsbury Publishing Co. 



MAY 22 ISIS 
©CU499644 



f 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAGE 

The Man Who "Came Back" 5 

Franco- Yanko Romances 14 

Trench Superstitions 25 

In the Trail of the Hun 30 

When "Ace" Lufbery Bagged No. 13 41 

Life at the Front 47 

The "Fiddler's Truce" at Arras 55 

Harry Lauder Does His Bit 57 

King George Under Fire 63 

Story of Our First Shot 68 

Stories from the Front 71 

Uncle Sam, Detective 75 

Didn't Raise His Boy to Be a "Slacker" 86 

The 100-Pound Terror of the Air 90 

The Watch-Dogs of the Trenches 96 

General Bell Redeems His Promise 101 

Letters from the Front 105 

Meet Tommy, D. C. Medal Man 114 

German Falcon Killed in Air Duel 119 

He Taught the Tank to Prowl and Slay 122 

Taking Moving Pictures Under Shell-fire 128 

Weighty Measures Involving Uncle Sam's Navy 137 

Enlisted Men Tell Why They Joined the Army 142 

Tommy Atkins, Rain-soaked and War-worn, Still Grins . . 146 
Something New for the Marines 150 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 



THE MAN WHO "GAME BACK" 

ONE of the strangest of the many personal romances 
which the war has brought is the tale of a man 
who, dismissed from the British Army by court martial, 
redeemed himself through service with that most hetero- 
geneous of organizations, the French Foreign Legion. 
His name was John F. Elkington, and he had held an 
honored post for more than thirty years. Then, just 
as his regiment, in the closing months of 1914, was 
going into the fighting on the Western front, he was 
cashiered for an unrevealed error and deprived of the 
opportunity to serve his country. 

Heavy with disgrace, he disappeared, and for a long 
time no one knew what had become of him. Some even 
went so far as to surmise that he had committed suicide, 
until finally he turned up as an enlisted soldier in the 
Foreign Legion. In their ranks he went into the conflict 
to redeem himself. Today, says the New York Herald, 
he is back in England. He will never fight again, for he 
has practically lost the use of his knees from wounds. 
But he is perhaps the happiest man in England, and the 
account tells why, explaining: 

Pinned on his breast are two of the coveted honors of 
France — the Military Medal and the Military Cross — 
but most valued possession of all is a bit of paper which 

5 



6 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

obliterates the errors of the past — a proclamation from 
the official London Gazette announcing that the King has 
"graciously approved the reinstatement of John Ford 
Elkington in the rank of lieutenant-colonel, with his 
previous seniority, in consequence of his gallant conduct 
while serving in the ranks of the Foreign Legion of the 
French Army." 

Not only has Colonel Elkington been restored to the 
Army, but he has been reappointed in his old regiment, 
the Royal Warwickshires, in which his father served 
before him. 

In the same London Gazette, at the end of October, 
1914, had appeared the crushing announcement that 
Elkington had been cashiered by sentence of general 
court martial. What his error was did not appear at the 
time, and has not been alluded to in his returned hour 
of honor. It was a court martial at the front at a time 
when the first rush of war was engulfing Europe and 
little time could be wasted upon an incident of that sort. 
The charge, it is now stated, did not reflect in any way 
upon the officer's personal courage. 

But with fallen fortunes he passed quietly out of the 
Army and enlisted in the Legion — that corps where 
thousands of brave but broken men have found a shelter, 
and now and then an opportunity to make themselves 
whole again. 

Colonel Elkington did not pass unscathed through fire. 
His fighting days are ended. His knees are shattered 
and he walks heavily upon two sticks. 

"They are just fragments from France," he said of 
those wounded knees, and smiled in happy reminiscence 
of all they meant. 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 7 

"It is wonderful to feel/' said Colonel Elkington, 
"that once again I have the confidence of my King and 
my country. I am afraid my career in the field is 
ended, but I must not complain." 

Colonel Elkington made no attempt to cloak his name 
or his former Army service when he entered the ranks 
of the Legion. 

"Why shouldn't I be a private?" he asked. "It is an 
honor for any man to serve in the ranks of that famous 
corps. Like many of the other boys, I had a debt to pay. 
Now it is paid." 

The press of London is unanimous in welcoming the 
old soldier back into his former rank. One of them, The 
Evening Standard, contains the account of how he went 
about enlisting for France when he saw he would best 
leave London. It is written by a personal friend of 
Colonel Elkington, with all the vividness and sympathy 
of an actual observer of the incidents detailed. We are 
told: 

"Late in October, 1914, I met him, his Army career 
apparently ruined. He had told the truth, which told 
against him ; but in the moment when many men would 
have sunk, broken and despairing, he bore himself as he 
was and as he is today, a very gallant gentleman. He 
had been cashiered and dismissed from the service for 
conduct which, in the judgment of the court martial, 
rendered him unfit and incapable of serving his sover- 
eign in the future in any military capacity. The London 
Gazette came out on October 14, 1914, recording the 
fact, and it became known to his many friends. For 
over thirty years he had served, and for distinguished 
service wore the Queen's medal with four clasps after 



8 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

the Boer War. He went to France with the Royal War- 
wickshire Regiment at the outbreak of this conflict. His 
chance had come after twenty-eight years. 

During the first terrible two months he had done 
splendid work. A moment sufficient to try the discretion 
of any officer arrived. He made his mistake. He told 
his story to the general court martial. He vanished — 
home ; and the London Gazette had the following War- 
Office announcement: 

"Royal Warwickshire Regiment. — Lieutenant-Colonel 
John F. Elkington is cashiered by sentence of a general 
court martial. Dated September 14, 1914." 

He recognized at once, as he sat with me, what this 
meant. We chatted about various projects, and at last 
he said, "There is still the Foreign Legion. What do 
you say?" 

Being acquainted with it, I told him what I knew ; how 
it was the "refuge" for men of broken reputations ; how 
it contained Italians, Germans, Englishmen, Russians, 
and others who had broken or shattered careers ; the way 
to set about joining it by going to the recruiting office at 

; how the only requirement was physical fitness ; 

that no questions would be asked ; that I doubted if he 
would like all his comrades; that the discipline was 
very severe ; that he might be sent to Algiers ; that he 
would find all kinds of men in this flotsam — men of 
education and culture, perhaps scoundrels and black- 
guards as well; but he would soon discover perfect 
discipline. 

Now for a man of his age to smile as he did, to set out 
on the bottom rung of the ladder as a ranker in a strange 
army, among strangers, leaving all behind him that he 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 9 

held dear, was a great act of moral courage. We heard 
of him at intervals, but such messages as dribbled 
through to his friends were laconic. We heard also he 
had been at this place and that, and that he was well and 
apparently doing well. That he had been repeatedly in 
serious action of recent months we also knew, and then 
came the news that he had won the coveted Medaille 
Militaire — and more, that it was for gallant service. A 
curious distinction it is in some ways. Any meritorious 
service may win it; but not all ranks can get it. A 
generalissimo like General Joffre or Sir Douglas Haig 
may wear it for high strategy and tactics, and a non- 
commissioned officer or private may win and wear it for 
gallantry or other distinction. But no officer below a 
generalissimo can gain it. This distinction Elkington 
won. We all felt he had made good in the Legion, where 
death is near at all times, and we waited. 

Today's Gazette announcement has given all who 
knew him the greatest pleasure. He has told none of 
them for what particular act he received the coveted 
medal — just like Jack Elkington's modesty. 

But, as soon as he arrived home in England, the inter- 
viewers went after him hot and heavy. He found it all 
very boresome, for, now that the affair was over, he 
could see no use in talking about it to everybody. A 
reporter for The Daily Chronicle, however, managed to 
get what is probably the most satisfactory interview with 
him and one which shows to best advantage the peculiar 
psychology of this man who has experienced so many 
different sides of life. The interviewer, in telling of 
their conversation, portrays the Colonel as saying: 

"Complaint? Good Lord, no! The whole thing was 



10 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

my own fault. I got what I deserved, and I had no kick 
against anyone. It was just 'Carry on !' " 

Brave words from a brave man — a man who has 
proved his bravery and worth in what surely were as 
heartrending circumstances as ever any man had to face. 
My first sight of the Man Who Has Made Good was a> 
he descended the stairs, painfully and with the aid of 
two sticks, into the hall of his lovely old home by the 
river at Pangbourne. It is a house which the great 
Warren Hastings once called home also. 

Very genial, very content, I found the man whose 
name today is on everyone's lips ; but very reticent also, 
with the reticence natural to the brave man who has 
achieved his aim and, having achieved it, does not wish 
it talked of. 

"And now," I suggested, "you have again got what 
you deserve?" 

Colonel Elkington drew a long breath. "I hope so," 
he said, at length, very quietly. "I have got my name 
back again, I hope cleared. That is what a man would 
care for most, isn't it?" 

"There is always a place in the Foreign Legion for 
someone who is down in the world," he told me. "Directly 
after the court martial, when the result appeared in the 
papers, I said I must do something; that I could not sit 
at home doing nothing, and that as I could not serve 
England I would serve France. Yes, I did offer my 
services again to England, but it is military law that no 
man who has been cashiered can be employed again for 
the King while the sentence stands. So there was noth- 
ing for it but the Foreign Legion — that home for the 
fallen man." 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 11 

Of that strange and famous corps Colonel Elkington 
cannot speak without a glint of pride in his keen blue 
eyes. Splendid men, the best in the world, he calls them, 
"and every one was as kind as possible to me." Many 
there were who had become legionaries because they, too, 
had failed elsewhere, "lost dogs like myself," the Colonel 
called them; but the majority of the men with whom he 
served were there because there was fighting to be done, 
because fighting was second nature to them, and because 
there was a cause to be fought for. The officers he 
describes as the "nicest fellows in the world and splen- 
did leaders." 

When Colonel Elkington first joined there were many 
Englishmen included in its ranks, but most of these sub- 
sequently transferred to British regiments. He enlisted 
in his own name, but none knew his story, and often he 
was questioned as to his reason for not transferring — 
"and I had to pitch them the tale." 

He kept away from British soldiers as much as pos- 
sible, "but one day someone shouted my name. I remem- 
ber I was just about to wash in a stream when a staff 
motor drove by and an officer waved his hand and called 
out. But I pretended not to hear and turned away. . . . 

"I don't think that the men in the Legion fear any- 
thing," he said. "I never saw such men, and I think in 
the attack at Champaigne they were perfectly wonder- 
ful. I never saw such a cool lot in my life as when they 
went forward to face the German fire then. It was a 
great fight ; they were all out for blood, and, though they 
were almost cut up there, they got the German trenches." 

The time he was recognized, as detailed above, was 
the only one. At no other time did any of his comrades 



12 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

suspect his identity, or else, if they did, they were con- 
sideration itself in keeping it to themselves. Of this 
recognition and some of his subsequent experiences, the 
London Times remarks, speaking of its own interview 
with him : 

It was the only voice from the past that came to him, 
and he took it as such. A few minutes afterward he was 
stepping it out heel and toe along the dusty road, a 
private in the Legion. 

Shot in the leg, Colonel Elkington spent ten months 
in hospital and eight months on his back. This was in 
the Hopital Civil at Grenoble. He could not say enough 
for the wonderful treatment that was given him there. 
They fought to save his life, and when they had won that 
fight, they started to save his leg from amputation. The 
head of the hospital was a Major Termier, a splendid 
surgeon, and he operated eight times and finally suc- 
ceeded in saving the damaged limb. When he was first 
in hospital neither the patients nor any of the hospital 
staff knew what he was or what he had done. Elkington 
himself got an inkling of his good fortune at Christmas 
when he heard of his recommendation for the Croix de 
Guerre. 

"Perhaps that helped me to get better," he said. 
"The medals are over there on the mantelpiece." I went 
over to where there were two glass cases hanging on 
the wall. "No, not those ; those are my father's and my 
grandfather's." He showed me the medals, and on the 
ribbon of the cross there was the little bronze palm- 
branch which doubles the worth of the medal. 

When he was wounded Dr. Wheeler gave him a stiff 
dose of laudanum, but he lay for thirteen hours until he 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 13 

saw a French patrol passing. He was then 100 yards 
short of the German second line of trenches, for this 
was in the Champaigne Battle, on September 28, when 
the French made a magnificent advance. 

It was difficult to get Colonel Elkington to talk about 
himself. As his wife says, he has a horror of advertise- 
ment, and a photographer who ambushed him outside his 
own lodge-gates yesterday made him feel more nervous 
than when he was charging for the machine gun that 
wounded him. To say he was happy would be to write a 
platitude. He is the happiest man in England. He is 
now recuperating and receiving treatment, and he hopes 
that he will soon be able to walk more than the 100 yards 
that taxes his strength to the utmost at present. 



FOUR TO THE GOOD 

In times of peace Smith might have been an author 
who had drifted into some useful occupation, such as 
that of a blacksmith, but just now he is cook to the 
Blankshire officers' mess. Smith sent Murphy into the 
village to bring home some chickens ordered for the 
mess. 

"Murphy," said Smith, the next day, "when you 
fetch me chickens again, see that they are fastened up 
properly. That lot you fetched yesterday all got loose, 
and though I scoured the village I only managed to 
secure ten of them." 

"'Sh!" said Murphy. "I only brought six." 



FRANCO- YANKO ROMANCES 

THE story is told of a British "Tommy" who could 
not make up his mind whether to acquire a farm or 
a village store, by marriage, "somewhere in France." 
He could have either, but not both. Dispatches say that 
the banns have already been read for some of our "Sam- 
mies," and when the war is over France will have some 
sturdy Yankee citizens. Difference of language seems 
to form no bar ; in fact, the kindly efforts of each to learn 
the language of the other acts as an aid. It must be said 
that the British, so far, have rather the best of it. They 
have beaten the Yankees to the altar of Hymen, but they 
Lad the field to themselves for some time. By the end of 
the war the Americans may have caught up, for love and 
war have always walked hand in hand with Uncle Sam's 
boys. Nevertheless the British have a big start, for 
Judson C. Welliver, writing to the New York Sun from 
Paris, says that in Calais hundreds of young English 
mechanics have married French girls. The writer tells 
of being accosted by a young man from "the States" at 
the corner of the Avenue de l'Opera and "one of those 
funny little crooked streets that run into it." Breezily 
the American introduced himself and said: 

"Say, do you happen to know a little caffy right 
around here called the — the — blame it, I can't even 
remember what that sign looked like it was trying to 
spell." 

I admitted that the description was a trifle too vague 
to fit into my geographic scheme of Paris. 

14 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 15 

"Because," he went on, "there's a girl there that talks 
United States, and she's been waiting on me lately. I 
get all the best of everything there and don't eat any- 
where else. But this morning I took a walk and coming 
from a new direction I can't locate the place. I prom- 
ised her I'd be in for breakfast this morning." 

"Something nifty?" I ventured, being willing to en- 
courage that line of conversation. Whereat he plainly 
bridled : 

"She's a nice girl," he said; "family were real people 
before the war. Learned to talk United States in Eng- 
land; went to school there awhile. Why, she wouldn't 
let me walk home with her last night, but said maybe 
she would tonight." 

There isn't anybody quite so adaptable as the young 
Frenchwoman. Only in the last few months has Paris 
seen any considerable number of English-speaking sol- 
diers, because earlier in the war the British military 
authorities kept their men pretty religiously away from 
the alleged "temptations" of the gay capital. Later 
they discovered that Paris was rather a better place than 
London for the men to go. 

So the French girls, in shops and cafes, have been 
learning English recently at an astounding rate. They 
began the study because of the English invasion; they 
have continued it with increased zeal because since the 
Americans have been coming it has been profitable. 

To be able to say "Atta boy !" in prompt and sympa- 
thetic response to "Ham and eggs" is worth 50 centimes 
at the lowest. The capacity to manage a little casual 
conversation and give a direction on the street is certain 
to draw a franc. 



16 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Besides, there aren't going to be so many men left, 
after the war, in France ! 

Mademoiselle, figuring that there are a couple of mil- 
lion Britishers in the country and a million or maybe 
two of Americans coming, has her own views about the 
prospect that the next generation Frenchwomen may be 
old maids. 

In Calais there is a big industrial establishment to 
which the British military authorities have brought great 
numbers of skilled mechanics to make repairs to machin- 
ery, reconstruct the outworn war-gear, tinker obstrep- 
erous motor-vehicles, and, in short, keep the whole 
machinery and construction side of the war going. Most 
of the mechanics who were sent there were young 
men. 

Calais testifies to the ability of the Frenchwomen to 
make the most of their attractions. English officers tell 
me that hundreds of young Englishmen settled in Calais 
"for the duration" have married French girls and settled 
into homes. They intend, in a large proportion of cases, 
to remain there, too. 

The same thing is going on in Boulogne, which is to 
all intents and purposes nowadays as much an English 
as a French port. Everywhere English is spoken and 
by nobody is it learned so quickly as by the young 
women. 

Frenchwomen have always had the reputation of mak- 
ing themselves agreeable to visiting men, but one is quite 
astonished to learn the number of Englishmen who mar- 
ried Frenchwomen even before the war. The balance is 
a little imperfect, for the records show that there are not 
nearly as many Frenchmen marrying English girls. 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 17 

But, says the writer in the Sun, a new generation of girls 
of marriageable age has arrived with the war, and : 

Not only in the military, industrial, and naval base 
towns are the British marrying these Frenchwomen, but 
even in the country nearer the front. There are incipi- 
ent romances afoot behind every mile of the trench- 
line. 

Two related changes in French life are coming with 
the war which make these international marriages easier. 
Both relate to the dot [dowry] system. On the one side 
there are many French girls who have lost their dots 
and have small prospect of reacquiring the marriage 
portion. To live in these strenuous times is about all 
they can hope for. For these the free-handed Ameri- 
cans, Canadians, and Australians look like good pros- 
pects for a well-to-do marriage. 

Even the British Tommy, though he enjoys no such 
income as the Americans and colonials, is nevertheless 
quite likely to have a bit of private income from the folks 
"back in Blighty" to supplement the meager pay he 
draws. The portionless French maid sees in these pros- 
perous young men who have come to fight for her country 
not only the saviors of the nation, but a possibility of 
emancipation from the dot system that has broken down 
in these times. 

On the other side, there are more than a few young 
women in France who must be rated "good catches" to- 
day, though their dots would have been unimportant be- 
fore the war. A girl who has inherited the little 
property of her family, because father and brothers all 
lie beneath the white crosses along the Marne, not infre- 
quently finds herself possessed of a little fortune she 



18 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

could never have expected under other conditions. 
Many of these, likewise, bereft of sweethearts as well 
as relatives, have been married to English and colonial 
soldiers or workmen ; and pretty soon we will be learning 
that their partiality for America — for there is such a 
partiality, and it is a decided one — will be responsible 
for many alliances in that direction. 

How it will all work out in the end is only to be 
guessed at as yet. The British officers who have been 
observing these Anglo-French romances for a long time 
assert that the British Tommy who weds a Frenchwoman 
is quite likely to settle in France; particularly if his 
bride brings him a village house or a few hectares of 
land in the country. 

On the other hand, the colonials insist on taking their 
French brides back to New Zealand or Canada, or wher- 
ever it may be — India, Shanghai, somewhere in Africa — 
no matter, the colonial is a colonial forever; he has no 
idea of going back to the cramped conditions of England. 
He likes the motherland, all right, is willing to fight for 
it, but wants room to swing a bull by the tail, and that 
isn't to be had in England, he assures you. 

Probably the Americans will be like the colonials; 
those who find French wives will take them home after 
the war. That a good many of them will marry French 
wives can hardly be doubted. 

Yes, the French girls like the American boys. But 
there is another scene. It is that of the country billet, 
which varies from a chateau to a cellar, the ideal one — 
from the point of view of a billeting officer — being a bed 
for every officer, and nice clean straw for the men. Get 
this picture of "Our Village, Somewhere in France," 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 19 

back of the line, as drawn by Sterling Hielig in the Los 
Angeles Times: 

A French valley full of empty villages, close to the 
fighting line. No city of tents. No mass of shack con- 
structions. The village streets are empty. Geese and 
ducks waddle to the pond in Main Street. 

It is 4 o'clock a. m. 

Bugle ! 

Up and down the valley, in the empty villages, there 
is a moving-picture transformation. The streets are 
alive with American soldiers — tumbling out of village 
dwelling-houses ! 

Every house is full of boarders. Every village family 
has given, joyfully, one, two, three of its best rooms for 
the cot beds of the Americans ! Barns and wagon-houses 
are transformed to dormitories. They are learning 
French. They are adopted by the family. Sammy's in 
the kitchen with the mother and the daughter. 

Bugle ! 

They are piling down the main street to their own 
American breakfast — cooked in the open, eaten in the 
open, this fine weather. 

In front of houses are canvas reservoirs of filtered 
drinking-water. The duck pond in Main street is being 
lined with cement. The streets are swept every morn- 
ing. There are flowers. The village was always pic- 
turesque. Now it is beautiful. 

Chaplains' clubs are set up in empty houses. The 
only large tent is that of the Y. M. C. A.; and it is 
camouflaged against enemy observers by being painted 
in streaked gray-green-brown, to melt into the colors of 
the hill against which it is backed up, practically in- 



20 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

visible. Its "canteen on wheels" is loaded with towels, 
soap, razors, chocolate, crackers, games, newspapers, 
novels, and tobacco. At cross-roads, little flat Y. M. C. 
A. tents (painted grass and earth color) serve as sta- 
tions for swift autos carrying packages and comforts. 
In them are found coffee, tea, and chocolate, ink, pens, 
letter-paper, and envelopes; and a big sign reminds 
Sammy that "You Promised Your Mother a Letter, 
Write It Today !" 

All decent and in order. Otherwise the men could 
never have gone through the strenuous coaching for 
the front so quickly and well. 

In "Our Village," not a duck or goose or chicken has 
failed to respond to the roll call in the past forty days — 
which is more than can be said of a French company 
billet, or many a British. 

Fruit hung red and yellow in the orchards till the 
gathering. I don't say the families had as many bushels 
as a "good year" ; but there is no criticism. 

In a word, Sammy has good manners. He looks on 
these French people with a sort of awed compassion. 
"They had a lot to stand !" he whispers. And the vil- 
lagers, who are no fools ("as wily as a villager," runs 
the French proverb), quite appreciate these fine shades. 
And the house dog wags his tail at the sight of khaki, as 
the boys come loafing in the cool of the back yard after 
midday dinner. 

In the evening the family play cards in the kitchen, 
and here no effort is necessary to induce the girls to 
learn English, for, though they pretend that they are 
teaching French, they are really — very slyly — "pick- 
ing up" English while they are being introduced to 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 21 

the mysteries of draw-poker. Says the writer in The 
Times: 

So, it goes like this when they play poker in the 
kitchen — the old French father, the pretty daughter, 
the flapper girl cousin, and three roughnecks. (One 
boy has the sheets of "Conversational French in Twenty 
Days," and really thinks that he is conversing — 
"Madame, mademoiselle, maman, monsieur, papa, 01 
mon oncle, pass the buck and get busy !") 

"You will haf carts, how man-ny? (business.) Tree 
carts, fife carts, ou-one cart, no cart, an' zee dee-laire 
seex carts!" — "Here, Bill, wake up!" — "Beel sleep! 
Avez-vous sommeil, Beel?" — "Out, mademoiselle, I slept 
rotten last night, I mean I was tray jenny pars'ke that 
darned engine was pumping up the duck pond — " 

"Speak French!"— "Play cards!" "Vingt-cin q r 

— "Et dix!" "Et encore five cen-times. I'm broke. 
Just slip me a quarter, Wilfred, to buy jet-toms!" And 
a sweet and plaintive voice: "I haf tree paire, mon 
oncle, an' he say skee-doo, I am stung-ed. I haf seex 
carts !" — "Yes, you're out of it, I'm sorry, mademoiselle. 
Come up!" "Kom opp? Comment, kom opp?" 

"Stung-ed" has become French. Thus does Sammy 
enrich the language of Voltaire. His influence works 
equally on pronunciation. There is a tiny French vil- 
lage named Hinges — on which hinges the following. 
From the days of Jeanne d'Arc, the natives have pro- 
nounced it "Anjs," in one syllable, with the sound of "a" 
as in "ham"; but Sammy, naturally, pronounces it 
"hinges," as it is spelled, one hinge, two hinges on the 
door or window. So, the natives, deeming that such 
godlings can't be wrong on any detail, go about, now, 



22 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

showing off their knowledge to the ignorant, and saying, 
with a point of affection: "I have been to 'Injes !' " 

I should not wonder if some of these boys would 
marry. They might do worse. The old man owns 218 
acres and nobody knows what Converted French Fives. 
Sammy, too, has money. A single regiment of American 
marines has subscribed for $60,000 worth of French 
war-bonds since their arrival in the zone — this, in spite 
of their depositing most of their money with the United 
States Government. 

Sammy sits in the group around the front door in 
the twilight. Up and down the main street are a hun- 
dred such mixed groups. Already he has found a place, 
a family. He is somebody. 

And what American lad ever sat in such a group at 
such a time without a desire to sing? And little differ- 
ence does it make whether the song be sentimental or 
rag; sing he must, and sing he does. The old-timers like 
"I Was Seeing Nellie Home" and "Down by the Old 
Mill Stream" proved to be the favorites of the listening 
French girls. For they will listen by the hour to the 
soldiers' choruses. They do not sing much themselves, 
for too many of their young men are dead. But, finally, 
when the real war-songs arrived, they would join tim- 
idly in the chorus, "Hep, hep, hep !" and "Slopping 
Through Belgium" electrified the natives, and The 
Times says: 

To hear a pretty French girl singing "Epp, epp, epp !" 
is about the limit. 

Singing is fostered by the high command. Who can 
estimate the influence of "Tipperary?" To me, Amer- 
ican civilian in Paris, its mere melody will always stir 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 23 

those noble sentiments we felt as the first wounded 
English came to the American Ambulance Hospital of 
Neuilly. For many a year to come "Tipperary" will 
make British eyes wet, when, in the witching hour of 
twilight, it evokes the khaki figures in the glare of the 
sky-line and the dead who are un forgotten ! 

Who can estimate, for France, the influence of that 
terrible song of Verdun — "Passeront pas!" Or who 
can forget the goose-step march to death of the Prussian 
Guard at Ypres, intoning "Deutschland Uber AllesV* 

"It is desired that the American Army be a singing 
army!" So ran the first words of a communication 
to the American public of Paris, asking for three thou- 
sand copies of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" — 
noble marching strophes of Julia Ward Howe, which 
fired the hearts of the Northern armies in 1864-1865. 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the 
Lord! . . . 

They are heard now on the American front in France. 
One regiment has adopted it "as our marching song, 
in memory of the American martyrs of Liberty." And 
in Our Village, you may hear a noble French translation 
of it, torn off by inspired French grandmothers! 

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling 

camps ; 
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews 

and damps ; 
I have read His righteous sentence by the dim and 

flaring lamps ; 

His day is marching on. 



24 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Bear with me to hear three lines of this notable trans- 
lation. Again they are by a woman, Charlotte Holmes 
Crawford, of whom I had never previously heard men- 
tion. They are word for word, vibrating ! 

Je L'ai entrevu Qui planait sur le cercle large des camps, 
On a erige Son autel par les tristes et mornes champs, 
J'ai relu Son juste jugement a la flamme des feux flam- 
bants, 

Son jour, Son jour s'approche! 

It's rather serious, you say? Rather solemn? 
Sammy doesn't think so. 



CUTE, WASN'T SHE? 

He was a young subaltern. One evening the pretty 
nurse had just finished making him comfortable for the 
night, and before going off duty asked: "Is there any- 
thing I can do for you before I leave?" 

Dear little Two Stars replied: "Well, yes! I should 
like very much to be kissed good-night." 

Nurse rustled to the door. "Just wait till I call the 
orderly," she said. "He does all the rough work here." 



EVERY ONE TO HIS TASTE 

Visitor — "It's a terrible war, this, young man — a ter- 
rible war." 

Mike (badly wounded) — "'Tis that, sor — a tirrible 
warr. But 'tis better than no warr at all." 



TRENCH SUPERSTITIONS 

IT is told in the chronicles of "The White Company" 
how the veteran English archer, Samkin Aylward, 
was discovered by his comrades one foggy morning 
sharpening his sword and preparing his arrows and 
armor for battle. He had dreamed of a red cow, he 
announced. 

"You may laugh/' said he, "but I only know that on 
the night before Crecy, before Poitiers, and before the 
great sea battle at Winchester, I dreamed of a red cow. 
To-night the dream came to me again, and I am putting 
a very keen edge on my sword." 

Soldiers do not seem to have changed in the last five 
hundred years, for Tommy Atkins and his brother the 
poilu have warnings and superstitions fully as strange 
as Samkin's. Some of these superstitions are the little 
beliefs of peace given a new force by constant peril, 
such as the notion common to the soldier and the Amer- 
ican drummer that it is unlucky to light three cigars with 
one match; other presentiments appear to have grown 
up since the war began. In a recent magazine two 
poems were published dealing with the most dramatic 
of these — the Comrade in White who appears after 
every severe battle to succor the wounded. Dozens 
have seen him, and would not take it kindly if you 
suggested they thought they saw him. They are sure 
of it. The idea of the "call" — the warning of impend- 
ing death — is firmly believed along the outskirts of No 

25 



26 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Man's Land. Let us quote some illustrations from the 
Cincinnati Times: 

"I could give you the names of half a dozen men of 
my own company who have had the call/' said Daniel W. 
King, the young Harvard man, who was transferred 
from the Foreign Legion to a line regiment just in time 
to go through the entire battle of Verdun. "I have 
never known it to fail. It always means death." 

Two men were quartered in an old stable in shell- 
range of the front. As they went to their quarters one 
of them asked the other to select another place in which 
to sleep that night. It was bitterly cold and the stable 
had been riddled by previous fire, and the army blanket 
under such conditions seems as light as it seems heavy 
when its owner is on a route march. 

"Why not roll up together?" said the other man. 
"That way we can both keep warm." 

"No," said the first man. "I shall be killed to-night." 

The man who had received the warning went into the 
upper part of the stable, the other pointing out in utter 
unbelief of the validity of a call that the lower part was 
the warmer, and that if his friend were killed it would 
make no difference whether his death chamber were 
warm or cold. A shell came througn the roof at mid- 
night. It was a "dud" — which is to say that it did not 
explode. The man who had been warned was killed 
by it. If it had exploded the other would probably 
have been killed likewise. As it was he was not harmed. 

A few days ago the chief of an aeroplane section at 
the front felt a premonition of death. He was known 
to all the army for his utterly reckless daring. He liked 
to boast of the number of men who had been killed out 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 27 

of his section. He was always the first to get away on 
a bombing expedition and the last to return. He had 
received at least one decoration — accompanied by a 
reprimand — for flying over the German lines in order 
to bring down a Fokker. 

"I have written my letters/' he said to his lieutenant. 
"When you hear of my death, send them on." 

The lieutenant laughed at him. That sector of the 
line was quiet, he pointed out. No German machine 
had been in the air for days. He might have been 
justified in his premonition, the lieutenant said, on any 
day of three months past. But now he was in not so 
much danger as he might be in Paris from the taxicabs. 
That day a general visited the headquarters and the 
chief went up in a new machine to demonstrate it. 
Something broke when he was three thousand feet high 
and the machine fell sidewise like a stone. 

It is possible, say the soldiers, to keep bad fortune 
from following an omen by the use of the proper talis- 
man. The rabbit's foot is unknown, but it is said that 
a gold coin has much the same effect — why, no one seems 
to know. A rabbit's foot, of course, must be from the 
left hind leg, otherwise it is good for nothing, and 
according to a poilu the efficacy of the gold piece de- 
pends upon whether or no it puts the man into touch 
with his "star." It is said in the New York Sun : 

Gold coins are a mascot in the front lines, a super- 
stition not difficult to explain. It was at first believed 
that wounded men on whom some gold was found would 
be better looked after by those who found them, and 
by degrees the belief grew up, especially among artil- 
lery, that a gold coin was a talisman against being 



28 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

mutilated if they were taken prisoners, whether wounded 
or not. 

The Government's appeals to have gold sent to the 
Bank of France and not to let it fall into enemy hands 
in case of capture has since reduced the amount of gold 
at the front, but many keep some coins as a charm. 
Many men sew coins touching one another in such a 
way as to make a shield over the heart. 

"Every man has his own particular star/' a Lyons 
farm hand said to Apollinaire, "but he must know it. 
A gold coin is the only means to put you in communi- 
cation with your star, so that its protecting virtue can 
be exercised. I have a piece of gold and so am easy in 
my mind I shall never be touched." As a matter of fact 
he was seriously wounded later. 

Perhaps he lost his gold-piece ! 

The Sun relates another story which indicates the 
belief that if the man does not himself believe that he 
had a true "call" he will be saved. It is possible to fool 
the Unseen Powers, to pull wool over their eyes. To 
dream of an auto-bus has become a token of death, 
attested by the experience of at least four front-line 
regiments. And yet a sergeant succeeded in saving the 
life of a man who had dreamed of an auto-bus by the 
use of a clever ruse — or lie, if you prefer. As the 
anecdote is told in The Sun : 

A corporal said he had dreamed of an auto-bus. 
"How can that be," the sergeant asked, "when you 
have never been to Paris or seen an auto-bus?" The 
corporal described the vision. "That an auto-bus!" 
declared the sergeant, although the description was per- 
fect. "Why, that's one of those new machines that the 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 29 

English are using. Don't let that worry you!" He 
didn't, and lived ! 

A regiment from the south has the same belief about 
an automobile lorry. 

But, unfortunately for the scientifically minded, a 
disbelief in omens does not preserve the skeptic from 
their consequences. On the contrary, he who flies in 
the face of Providence by being the third to get a light 
from one match is certain of speedy death. The Sun 
continues : 

Apollinaire tells how he was invited to mess with a 

friend, Second Lieutenant Francois V , how this 

superstition was discussed and laughed at by Francois 

V , and how Francois V happened to be the 

third to light his cigaret with the same match. 

The morning after, Francois V was killed five 

or six miles from the front lines by a German shell. 
It appears that the superstition is that the death is 
always of this nature, as Apollinaire quotes a captain 
of a mixed tirailleur and zouave regiment as saying: 

"It is not so much the death that follows, as death no 
longer is a dread to anyone, but it has been noticed that 
it is always a useless form of death. A shell splinter 
in the trenches or, at best, in the rear, which has nothing 
heroic about it, if there is anything in this war which 
is not heroic." 



IN THE TRAIL OF THE HUN 

WAR has become so much a part of the life of the 
French peasants that they have little fear under 
fire. Frenchmen over military age and Frenchwomen 
pursue their ordinary avocations with little concern for 
exploding shells. To be surest is something of a nuisance, 
but children play while their mothers work at the tub 
washing soldier clothing. And as the Allied armies 
advance, wresting a mile or two of territory from the 
enemy at each stroke, the peasant follows with his plow 
less than a mile behind the lines. War has become a 
part of their lives. Newman Flower, of Cassell's Maga- 
zine, has been "Out There," and he thus records some 
of his impressions in the trail of the war : 

The war under the earth is a most extraordinary 
thing. In the main, the army you see in the war 
zone is not a combatant army. It is the army of sup- 
ply. The real fighters you seldom set eyes on unless 
you go and look for them. And, generally speaking, 
the ghastliness of war is carried on beneath the earth's 
level. 

Given time, the Boche will take a lot of beating as 
an earth delver. At one spot on the Somme I went 
into a veritable underground town, where, till the British 
deluge overtook them, three thousand of the toughest 
Huns the Kaiser had put into his line lived and thrived. 
They had sets of compartments there, these men, with 
drawing-rooms complete, even to the piano, kitchen, 
30 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 31 

bathroom, and electric light, and I was told that there 
was one place where you could have your photograph 
taken, or buy a pair of socks ! Every visitor down the 
steps — except the British — was required to turn a handle 
three times, which pumped air into the lower regions. 
If you descended without pumping down your portion 
of fresh air you were guilty of bad manners. 

Anything more secure has not been invented since 
Adam. But this impregnable city fell last year, as all 
things must fall before the steady pressing back of 
British infantry. 

The writer tells of discovering in an old French town 
that was then under fire a shell-torn building on which 
were displayed two signs reading "First Aid Post" and 
"Barber Shop." He says: 

When I dived inside I saw one man having his arm 
dressed, for he had been hit by a piece of shell in the 
square, and in a chair a few yards away a Tommy 
having a shave. Coming in as a stranger, I was in- 
formed that if I didn't want a haircut or a shave, or 
hadn't a healthy wound to dress, this was not the Empire 
music hall, so I had better "hop it." 

It was in "hopping it" that I got astride an unseen 
fiber of British communication. I went into the adjoin- 
ing ruins of a big building. A single solitary statue 
stood aloof in a devastation of tumbled brick and stone. 
Then, as I was stepping from one mound of rubble to 
another, as one steps from rock to rock on the seashore, 
I heard voices beneath me. The wreckage was so com- 
plete, so unspeakably complete, that human voices 
directly under my feet seemed at first startling and 
indefinite. Moreover, to add to my confusion, I heard 



32 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

the baa-ing of sheep, likewise under the earth. But I 
could see no hole, no outlet. 

With the average curiosity of the Britisher I searched 
around till I discovered a small hole, a foot in diameter, 
maybe, and a Tommy's face framed in it laughing up 
at me. 

"Hello!" he said. 

I pulled up, bewildered, and looked at him. 

"What in Heaven's name are you doing in there?" I 
asked. 

"We're telephones. . . . Got any matches?" 

"I heard sheep," I informed him. 

"And what if you did? Got them matches?" 

I tossed him a box. He dived into darkness, and I 
heard him rejoicing with his pals because he'd found 
some one who'd got a light. It meant almost as much 
to them as being relieved. 

So here was a British unit hidden where the worst 
Hun shell could never find it, and, what was more, here 
was the food ready to kill when, during some awkward 
days, the Boche shells cut off supplies. 

Then look on this picture of a war-desolated country 
where nature has been stupidly scarred by Teuton 
ruthlessness, and rubble-heaps are marked by boards 
bearing the name of the village that had stood there : 

The desert was never more lonely than those vast 
tracts of land the armies have surged over, and this 
loneliness and silence are more acute because of the 
suggestions of life that have once been there. It is 
impressive, awe-inspiring, this silence, like that which 
follows storm. 

Clear away to the horizon no hedge or tree appears, 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 33 

all landmarks have gone, hills have been planed level 
by the sheer blast of shells. Here is a rubble-heap no 
higher than one's shoulders where a church has stood, 
and the graves have opened beneath pits of fire to make 
new graves for the living. Patches of red powder, 
washed by many rains, with a few broken bricks among 
them, mark the places where houses, big and small, once 
rested. To these rubble-heaps, which were once vil- 
lages, the inhabitants will come back one day, and they 
will scarcely know the north from the south. Indeed, 
if it were not for the fact that each rubble-heap bears 
a board whereon the name of the village is written, in 
order to preserve the site, they would never find theii 
way there at all, for the earth they knew has become a 
strange country. Woods are mere patches of brown 
stumps knee-high — stumps which, with nature's life 
restricted, are trying to break into leaf again at odd 
spots on the trunks where leaves never grew before. 
Mametz Wood and Trone Wood appear from a short 
distance as mere scrabblings in the earth. 

The ground which but a few months ago was blasted 
paste and pulverization has now under the suns of 
summer thrown up weed growth that is creeping over 
the earth as if to hide its hurt. Wild convolvulus trails 
cautiously across the remnants of riven trenches, and 
levers itself up the corners of sand bags. In this tangle 
the shell holes are so close that they merge into each 
other. 

The loneliness of those Somme fields ! No deserts of 
the world can show such unspeakable solitude. 

One comes from the Somme to the freed villages as 
one might emerge from the desert to the first outposts 



34 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

of human life at a township on the desert's rim. Still 
there are no trees on the sky-line; they have all been 
cut down carefully and laid at a certain angle beside the 
stumps just as a platoon of soldiers might ground their 
arms. For the German frightfulness is a methodical 
tffair, not aroused by the heat of battle, but coolly cal- 
culated and senseless. Of military importance it has 
none. 

In these towns evacuated by the Germans life is 
slowly beginning to stir again and to pick up the threads 
of 1914. People who have lived there all through the 
deluge seem but partially aware as yet that they are 
free. And some others are returning hesitatingly. 

Mr. Flower notes with interest the temperamental 
change that has been wrought by the war in the man 
from twenty to thirty-five years old. To the older ones 
it all is only a "beastly uncomfortable nuisance," and 
when it is over they will go back to their usual avoca- 
tions. Here is the general view of the middle-aged men 
in the battle line : 

"What are you going to do after the war?" I asked 
one. 

I believe he thought I was joking, for he looked at 
me very curiously. 

"Do?" he echoed. "I'm going to do what any sane 
man of my age would do. I'm going straight back to 
it — back to work. This is just marking time in one's 
life, like having to go to a wedding on one's busiest mail 
day. I'm not going to exploit the war as a means of 
getting a living, or emigrate, or do any fool thing like 
that. I'm going straight back to my office, I am. I 
know exactly where I turned down the page of my sales 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 35 

book when I came out — it was page seventy-nine — and 
I'm going to start again on page eighty." 

With the younger men it is different. It has struck 
a new spark in them and fired a spirit of adventure. 
There are those who even enjoy the war, and to whom 
one day, when peace comes, life will seem very tame. 
The writer cites this case: 

He is quite a young man, and what this adventurous 
fellow was before he took his commission and went to 
the war I do not pretend to know. But he displayed 
most conspicuous bravery and usefulness from the hour 
he fetched up at the British front. 

One day he was very badly wounded in the back, and 
as soon as he neared convalescence he became restive 
and wished to return to his men, and he did return 
before he should have done. The doctor knew he would 
finish a deal quicker when he got back to the lines than 
he would in a hospital. 

There are some rare creatures who are built that way. 
Shortly afterward he was wounded again, and while 
walking to the dressing station was wounded a third 
time, on this occasion very badly. 

He stuck it at the hospital as long as he could — then 
one day he disappeared. No one saw him go. He had 
got out, borrowed a horse, and ridden back to his lines. 

The absence of the fighting men from the view of 
an observer of a modern battle strongly impressed the 
writer, who says: 

Most men who come upon a modern battle for the 
first time would confess to finding it not what they 
expected. For the old accepted idea of battle is hard 
to eliminate. One has become accustomed to looking 



36 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

for great arrays of fighters ready for the bout, with 
squadrons of cavalry waiting somewhere beyond a screen 
of trees, and guns — artfully hidden guns — bellying 
smoke from all points of the compass. The battle 
pictures in our galleries, the lead soldiers we played 
with as children and engaged in visible conflict, have 
kept up the illusion. 

You know before you come to it that it is not so in 
this war, but this battle of hidden men pulls you up 
with a jolt as not being quite what you expected to see. 
You feel almost as if you had been robbed of something. 

The first battle I saw on the western front I watched 
for two and a half hours, and during that time (with the 
exception of five men who debouched from a distant 
wood like five ants scuttling out of a nest of moss, to 
be promptly shot down) I did not see a man at all. The 
battle might have been going on in an enormous house 
and I standing on the roof trying to see it. 

But if there is little or nothing to be seen of the human 
agents that direct the devastating machines of war dur- 
ing a battle, the scene of the field after the fight has 
been waged discloses all the horror that has not been 
visible to the eye of an observer. Mr. Flower thus 
describes one section of the theater of war in France: 

Our car rushes down a long descending road, and is 
driven at breakneck speed by one of those drivers with 
which the front is strewn, who are so accustomed to 
danger that to dance on the edge of it all the time is 
the breath of life. To slow down to a rational thirty 
miles an hour is to them positive pain; to leap shell 
holes at fifty or plow across a newly made road of broken 
brick at the same velocity is their ecstasy. And one of 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 37 

the greatest miracles of the war is the cars that stand 
it without giving up the unequal contest by flying into 
half a hundred fragments. 

But this road is tolerable even for a war road, and 
it runs parallel with a long down which has been scrab- 
bled out here and there into patches of white by the 
hands of men. It is Notre Dame de Lorette, no higher 
than an average Sussex down, mark you, and lower than 
most. Yet I was told that on this patch of down over 
& hundred thousand men have died since the war began. 
Running at right angles at its foot is a lower hill, no 
higher than the foothill to a Derbyshire height, but 
known to the world now as Vimy Ridge. And this road 
leads you into a small section of France, a section of 
four square miles or so, every yard of which is literally 
soaked with the blood of men. 

On the right is Souchez, and the wood of Souchez all 
bare stumps and brokenness; here the sugar refinery, 
which changed hands eight times, and is now no more 
than a couple of shot-riddled boilers, tilted at odd angles 
with some steel girders twirled like sprung wire rearing 
over them; and around this conglomeration a pile of 
brick powder. You wonder what there was here worth 
dying for, since a rat would fight shy of the place for 
want of a square inch of shelter. And where is Souchez 
River? you ask, for Souchez River is now as famous 
as the Amazon. Here it is, a sluggish sort of brook, 
crawling in and out of broken tree-trunks that have 
been blasted down athwart it, running past banks a 
foot high or so, a river you could almost step across, 
and which would be well-nigh too small to name in 
Devonshire. 



38 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

We leave our cars under a bank and come on down 
through the dead jetsam of the village of Ablain St. 
Nazaire. The old church is still here on the left, the 
only remnant of a respectable rate-paying hamlet. The 
remaining portion of its square tower is clear and white, 
for the stonework has been literally skinned by flying 
fragments of steel, till it is about as clean as when it 
was built. 

We reach the foot of Vimy Ridge and climb up. 
Here, some one told me, corn once grew, but now it is 
sodden chalk, pasted and mixed as if by some giant 
mixing machine with the shattered weapons of war. 

Broken trenches — the German front line — in places 
remain and extend a few yards, only to disappear into 
the rubble where the tide swept over them. 

As we climb, the earth beneath my foot suddenly gives 
way, letting me down with a jerk to the hip, and opening 
up a hole through which I peer and see a dead Boche 
coiled up, his face — or so I suspect it was — resting upon 
his arm to protect it from some oncoming horror. 

We climb on up. We drop into pits and grope out of 
them again, pasted with the whiteness of chalk. From 
somewhere behind us a howitzer is throwing shells over 
our heads, shells that come on and pass with the rush 
of a train pitching itself recklessly out of control. We 
listen to the clamor as it goes on — a couple of miles or 
so — separating itself from the ill assortment of snarling 
and smashing and breaking and grunting that rises from 
the battlefield. 

As they climbed the ridge the guns seemed to be 
muffled until they got beyond the shelter of Notre Dame 
de Lorette. Then, says the writer: 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 39 

We suddenly appeared to tumble into a welter of 
sound. And the higher we climbed Vimy, the louder 
the tumult became. "Aunty/' throwing over heavy 
stuff, had but a few moments before been the only 
near thing in the battle. Now the contrast was such 
as if we had been suddenly pushed into the middle 
of the battle. The air was full of strange, harsh noises 
and crackings and cries. And the earth before us was 
alive with subdued flame flashes and growing bushes 
of smoke. 

Five miles away, Lens, its church spires adrift in 
eddies of smoke, appeared very unconscious of it all. 
Just showing on the horizon was Douai, and I won- 
dered what forests of death lay waiting between those 
Lens churches and the Douai outlines where the ground 
was sunken and mysterious under the haze. 

Here, then, was the panorama of battle. Never a 
man in sight, but the entire earth goaded by some vast 
invisible force. Clots of smoke of varying colors arrived 
from nowhere, died away, or were smudged out by other 
clots. A big black pall hung over Givenchy like the 
sounding-board over a cathedral pulpit. A little farther 
on the village of Angres seemed palisaded with points 

of flame. Away to the right the long, straight road 

from Lens to Arras showed clear and strong without a 

speck of life upon it. 

No life anywhere, no human thing moving. And yet 

one believed that under a thin crust of earth the whole 

forces of Europe were struggling and throwing up 

sound. 

Among all the combatants there is a desire for peace, 

says Mr. Flower, who found a striking example of the 



40 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

sentiment of the Boche in what had been the crypt of 
the Bapaume cathedral. He writes : 

I saw scores of skulls of those who were dead many- 
decades before the war rolled over Europe, and on the 
skull of one I saw scribbled in indelible pencil: 

"Dass der Friede hommen mag'* 

("Hurry up, Peace.") — Otto Triibner. 

Now, Otto Triibner may be a very average repre- 
sentative of his type. And maybe Otto Triibner 's head 
now bears a passing likeness to the skull he scribbled 
on in vandal fashion before he evacuated Bapaume. 
But whether or no, he is, metaphorically speaking, a 
straw which shows the play of the wind. 



SOME STUNT—TRY IT 

Sergeant (drilling awkward squad) — "Company ! At- 
tention company, lift up your left leg and hold it 
straight out in front of you !" 

One of the squad held up his right leg by mistake. 
This brought his right-hand companion's left leg and 
his own right leg close together. The officer, seeing 
this, exclaimed angrily: 

"And who is that blooming galoot over there holding 
up both legs?" 



WHEN THE HUN QUIT SMOKING 

Tommy I — "That's a top-hole pipe, Jerry. Where 
d'ye get it?" 

Tommy II — "One of them German Huns tried to 
take me prisoner an' I in'erited it from 'im." 



WHEN "ACE" LUFBERY BAGGED NO. 13 

LIEUT. GERVAIS RAOUL LUFBERY, an "Ace" 
of the Lafayette Escadrille, has brought down his 
thirteenth enemy airplane. The German machine was 
first seen by Lufbery — who was scouting — several hun- 
dred yards above him. By making a wide detour and 
climbing at a sharp angle he maneuvered into a position 
above the enemy plane at an altitude of five thousand 
yards and directly over the trenches. The German pilot 
was killed by Lufbery's first shot and the machine 
started to fall. The gunner in the German plane quickly 
returned the fire, even as he was falling to his death. 
One of his bullets punctured the radiator and lodged 
in the carburetor of Lufbery's plane, and he was forced 
to descend. 

To a writer in the Philadelphia Public Ledger Luf- 
bery describes the type of young man America will need 
for her air fleet. He says : 

"It will take the cream of the American youth be- 
tween the ages of eighteen and twenty-six to man 
America's thousands of airplanes, and the double cream 
of youth to qualify as chasers in the Republic's new 
aerial army. 

"Intensive and scientific training must be given this 
cream of youth upon which America's welfare in the 
air must rest. Experience has shown that for best 
results the fighting aviator should not be over twenty- 
six years old or under eighteen. The youth under 

41 



42 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

eighteen has shown himself to be bold, but he lacks 
judgment. Men over twenty-six are too cautious. 

"The best air fighters, especially a man handling a 
'chaser/ must be of perfect physique. He must have 
the coolest nerve and be of a temperament that longs 
for a fight. He must have a sense of absolute 
duty and fearlessness, the keenest sense of action and 
perfect sight to gain the absolute 'feel' of his 
machine. 

"He must be entirely familiar with aerial acrobatics. 
The latter frequently means life or death. 

"Fighting twenty-two thousand feet in the air pro- 
duces a heavy strain on the heart. It is vital, therefore, 
that this organ show not the slightest evidence of weak- 
ness. Such weakness would decrease the aviator's 
fighting efficiency. 

"The American boys who come over here for this 
work will be subject to rapid and frequent variations 
in altitude. It is a common occurrence to dive verti- 
cally from six thousand to ten thousand feet with the 
motor pulling hard. 

"Sharpness of vision is imperative. Otherwise the 
enemy may escape or the aviator himself will be sur- 
prised or mistake a friendly machine for a hostile craft. 
The differences are often merely insignificant colors 
and details. 

"America's aviators must be men who will be absolute 
masters of themselves under fire, thinking out their 
attacks as their fight progresses. 

"Experience has shown that the 'chaser' men should 
weigh under one hundred eighty pounds. Americans 
from the ranks of sport — youths who have played base- 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 43 

ball, polo, football, or have shot and participated in 
other sports — will probably make the best chasers." 

Lufbery is a daring aviator and has already been 
decorated with four military medals awarded for aerial 
bravery. His life has been full of adventure even 
before he thought of becoming an airman. The Ledger 
says: 

Fifteen years ago the aviator, then seventeen years 
old, left his home in Wallingford, Conn., and set out 
to see the world. First he went to France, the land of 
his progenitors. He visited Paris, Marseilles, Bourges, 
and other cities. Then he went to Africa. 

In Turkey he worked for some time in a restaurant. 
His plan was to visit a city, get a job that would keep 
him until he had seen what he desired, and then depart 
to a new field of adventure. In this manner he traveled 
through Europe, Africa, and South America. In 1906 
he returned to his home in Connecticut. The following 
year he went to New Orleans, enlisted in the United 
States army, and was sent to the Philippine Islands. 
Two years later, upon being mustered out, Lufbery 
visited Japan and China, exploring those countries 
thoroughly. Then he went to India and worked as a 
ticket collector on a Bombay railroad. While engaged 
at this occupation he kicked out of the railway station 
one of the most prominent citizens of Bombay. The 
latter had insisted that Lufbery say "sir" to him. The 
aviator always did have a hot temper. 

Lufbery's next occupation, and the business to which 
he has remained attached ever since, was had at Saigon, 
Cochin China, where he met Marc Pourpe, a young 
French aviator, who was giving flying exhibitions in 



44 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Asia. He needed an assistant. Lufbery never had seen 
an airplane, but he applied for the job and got it. 

The two men gave exhibitions over the French prov- 
inces in Indo-China. After one of these flights the 
King of Cambodia was so pleased that he presented 
each aviator with a decoration that entitled him to a 
guard of honor on the streets of any town within the 
realm. 

Lufbery and Pourpe, now inseparable comrades, went 
to Paris to get a new airplane. War was declared, and 
Pourpe volunteered as an aviator. Lufbery, who was 
anxious to be with his friend, tried also to enlist, but 
was told that he must enter the Foreign Legion, as he 
was not a French citizen. 

Pourpe was shot to death during one of his wonderful 
air feats ; and, wishing to avenge the death of his friend, 
Lufbery asked to be trained as an airplane pilot. His 
request was granted and in the summer of 1916 he went 
to the front as a member of the American Escadrille. 
It was on August 4 of that year that he brought down 
his third enemy plane, and soon afterward was deco- 
rated with the Military Medal and the French War 
Cross, with the following citation: 

"Lufbery, Raoul, sergeant with the escadrille No. 
124; a model of skill, sang froid, and courage. Has 
distinguished himself by numerous long-distance bom- 
bardments and by the daily combats which he delivers 
to enemy airplanes. On July 31 he attacked at short 
range a group of four German airplanes. He shot one 
of them down near our lines. On August 4, 1916, he 
succeeded in bring down a second one." 

Two or more combats a day in the air came to be a 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 45 

common occurrence with Lufbery, and many times he 
returned to the base with his machine full of holes and 
his clothing cut by German bullets. 

When Lufbery heard of the death of Kiffin Rockwell 
he ordered his gasoline tank refilled and soared into the 
sky, in the hope of avenging the death of his comrade. 
But no enemy machine was to be found. Of Lufbery's 
further exploits The Ledger says: 

During the bombardment of the Mauser factories on 
October 12, 1916, the intrepid aviator brought down a 
three-manned aviatik. This was counted as his fifth 
official victory and gained him additional honors. It 
was during this raid that Norman Prince was mortally 
wounded. 

After the escadrille had moved to the Somme battle- 
field, Lufbery, on November 9 and 10, brought down 
two more German planes. These, however, fell too far 
within their own lines to be placed to his official credit. 
On December 27, 1916, he nearly lost his life in bring- 
ing down his sixth flier of the enemy. Four bullets 
riddled the machine close to his body. For this victory 
he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor. 

In March of this year he was officially credited with 
bringing down his seventh German aircraft. The others 
have been sent hurtling to the earth at different times 
since then. 

Lufbery is a quiet, level-headed man. His particular 
friend in the Lafayette Escadrille of American fliers 
is Sergeant Paul Pavelka, who also hails from Connec- 
ticut, and who has himself seen quite a bit of the world. 
Lufbery has his own special methods of attacking enemy 
airplanes ; he is cool, cautious, and brave, and an excep- 



46 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

tionally fine shot. When he was a soldier in the United 
States army he won and held the marksmanship medal 
of his regiment. He has been cited in army orders 
twice since August, 1916. 



HORSE AND HORSE 

An anemic elderly woman, who looked as if she might 
have as much maternal affection as an incubator, sized 
up a broad-shouldered cockney who was idly looking 
into a window on the Strand in London, and in a rasp- 
ing voice said to him : 

"My good man, why aren't you in the trenches? 
Aren't you willing to do anything for your country?" 

Turning around slowly, he looked at her a second and 
replied contemptuously : 

"Move on, you slacker! Where's your war-baby?" 



WHY TOMMY JOINED THE CHURCH 

"Tommy Atkins" pleaded exemption from church 
parade on the ground that he was an agnostic. The 
sergeant-major assumed an expression of innocent in- 
terest. 

"Don't you believe in the Ten Commandments?" he 
mildly asked the bold freethinker. 

"Not one, sir," was the reply. 

"What! Not the rule about keeping the Sabbath?" 

"No, sir." 

"Ah, well, you're the very man I've been looking for 
to scrub out the canteen." 



LIFE AT THE FRONT 

HERE are letters from the boys at the front telling 
the folks at home of their experiences, humorous, 
pathetic, and tragic. They present pictures of war life 
with an intimate touch that brings out all the striking 
detail. James E. Parshall, of Detroit, is serving with 
the American ambulance unit in the French army. The 
Detroit Saturday Night, which prints his letter, believes 
that the "drive" referred to by him was either on the 
Aisne front or in the Verdun sector. The letter says in 
part: 

Dear People: Sherman was right! I have been 
debating with myself about what to say in this letter. 
I think I'll tell you all about it and add that if by the 
time this reaches you you have heard nothing to the 
contrary, I am all O. K. You see, we are in a big 
offensive which will be over in about ten days. As a 
rule it's not nearly as bad as this. 

The day before yesterday we arrived at our base, 
about seven miles from the lines. It is a little town 
which has been pretty well shot up, and is shelled now 
about once a week. In the afternoon one driver from 
each car was taken up and shown the roads and posts. 
The coin flopped for me. 

The roads to the front run mostly through deep woods. 
These woods are full of very heavy batteries which are 
continually shelling the enemy, and, in turn, we are 
continuously being sought out by the Boche gunners. 

47 



48 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

As a result, it's some hot place to drive through. Also, 
as a result of the continuous shelling, the roads are 
very bad. 

[Here there is a break in the letter, which begins 
again after four days.] 

I was so nervous when I started this letter that I had 
to quit, and this is the first time since then that I have 
felt like writing. A great deal has happened, but in 
order not to mix everything up I'll start in where I 
left off. 

Our first post from the base is in a little village which 
is entirely demolished. It is in a little valley, and the 
two big marine guns that are stationed there draw a 
very disquieting Boche fire about five times a day regu- 
larly. The next post is at a graveyard in the woods. 
There are no batteries in the immediate vicinity, and 
so it is quiet, but not very cheerful. (That's where I 
am now, "on reserve.") 

The third post out is where we got our initiation. It 
was a hot one ! Right next to the abri is a battery of 
three very large mortars. Besides these there are 
several batteries of smaller guns. When we came up 
they were all going at full tilt. In addition, the Bodies 
had just got the range and the shells were exploding 
all around us. As we jumped out of the car and ran 
for the abri two horses tied to a tree about fifty feet 
from us were hit and killed. We waited in the abri till 
the bombardment calmed a bit. When we came out two 
more horses were dead and a third kicking his last. 

From here we walked about a half mile to the most 
advanced post on that road. I'll never forget that walk ! 
The noise was terrific and the shells passing overhead 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 49 

made a continuous scream. Quite frequently we would 
hear the distinctive screech of an incoming shell. Then 
everyone would fall flat on his stomach in the road. 

Believe me, we were a scared bunch of boys ! I was 
absolutely terrified, and I don't think I was the only 
one. Well, we eventually got back to the car and to 
the base. 

At twelve o'clock that night the Bodies started shell- 
ing the town. You can't imagine the feeling it gives 
one in the pit of one's stomach to hear the gun go off 
in the distance, then the horrible screech of the onrush- 
ing shell, and finally the deafening explosion that shakes 
the plaster down on your cot. Our chiefs were at the 
outposts, and none of us knew enough to get out and go 
to the abri, so we just lay there shivering and sweating 
a cold sweat through the whole bombardment. Gosh, 
but I was a scared boy ! 

Of a gas attack he writes: "We had to wear those 
suffocating gas masks for five hours," and then: 

About three o'clock in the morning the car ahead of 
us at the post started out in their masks and in the 
pitch of blackness with a load. In about a half hour 
one of the boys on the car staggered back into the abri, 
half gassed, and said that they were in the ditch down 
in a little valley full of gas. So we had to go down 
and get their load. Believe me, it was some ticklish 
and nerve-racking job to transfer three groaning 
couches from a car in the ditch at a perilous angle to 
ours, in a cloud of gas, and with the shells bursting 
uncomfortably near quite frequently. 

We finally got them in and got started. We got about 
a half mile farther on to the top of the hill going down 



50 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

into what is known as "Death Valley." In the valley 
was a sight that was most discouraging. Seven or eight 
horses were lying in the road, gassed, some of them 
still kicking. A big camion was half in the ditch and 
half on the road. An ammunition caisson that had tried 
to get past the blockade by going down through the ditch 
was stuck there. 

Remember that all this was just at the break of dawn, 
in a cloud of gas, with the French batteries making a 
continuous roar and an occasional Boche shell making 
every one flop on his stomach. 

How we ever got through there I really couldn't tell 
you. My partner told the Frenchmen who were vainly 
trying to straighten out the mess that we had a couple 
of dying men in the car, so they yanked a few horses to 
one side, drove the camion a little farther into the ditch, 
and, by driving over a horse's head and another one's 
legs, I got through. 

On the whole, I've been quite lucky. Some of the 
other boys have had some really awful experiences. 

About the day after tomorrow we go en repos, and 
it's sure going to seem good to eat and sleep, without 
getting up and sprinting for an abri or throwing one's 
self, and incidentally a plate of good food, on the 
ground. 

We saw a very interesting thing the other day. We 
were sitting out in front of our cantonment at the base. 
About a quarter of a mile from us was one of the big 
observation balloons or "sausages." Suddenly, from 
behind a cloud, j ust above the balloon a Boche aeroplane 
darted out. The Boche and the balloonist both fired 
their machine guns at each other simultaneously. The 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 51 

aeroplane wobbled a little and started to volplane to 
earth. The balloon burst into flames. The observer 
dropped about fifty feet, and then his parachute opened 
and he sailed slowly down. When the Boche landed 
they found him dead with a bullet in his chest. It was 
quite an exciting sight. 

A battle between two planes is quite common, and 
one can look up at almost any time and see the aircraft 
bombs bursting around some Boche thousands of feel 
in the air. 

At last the "drive" is over, and the letter describes 
the prisoners, at whose youth he expresses surprise. 
But they are happy, though nearly starved — happy to 
be prisoners. The writer says : 

I have seen hundreds of Boche prisoners, four thou- 
sand having been taken in the attack. We see them 
march past the poste-de-secours about half an hour 
after they have been captured. I have talked with 
several of them and received lots of interesting infor- 
mation. They are all very happy, but nearly starved. 
Two slightly wounded ones were brought into the post 
the other day. A dirty little crust of bread was lying 
on the ground. They both made a dive for it. They are 
all awfully young, mostly between seventeen and twenty- 
one. 

One of them told me, among other things, that by 
next spring Germany would be absolutely finished. A 
soldier's fare, he said, was one pound of poor bread 
and one liter of wine a day, except during a heavy 
attack, when they are given some thin soup. The 
civilians, he said, were still worse off, especially in the 
cities. 



52 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

An Iowa boy, a Y. M.C.A. secretary, who is in the 
camion service in the French army, tells how he arrived 
in Paris, how he happened to become a soldier of France, 
and some other interesting details, including the amount 
of his salary — $1.20 per month! He found the ambu- 
lance service — which he had intended to join — crowded, 
and was told that there would be some delay in getting 
cars. Even if he did get a car he was told that the 
chances were against his seeing any action, as he might 
be attached to an inactive division. He was therefore 
urged to join the camion service — the ammunition truck 
organization — in which he was assured he would be 
kept busy day and night as long as he could stand it. 
There was no camouflage about that. In order to get 
into this service, one must join the French army, and 
after thinking the matter over for a few days the Iowa 
lad "joined" the French colors with a group of Amer- 
ican college boys. Here is his letter in part as printed 
in Wallace's Farmer, of Des Moines : 

So here I am enrolled as a member of the French 
army, carrying a French gun, gas mask, and helmet, 
and eating French army rations. We are paid for our 
services the sum of $1.20 a month. We underwent a 
week of intensive training, being drilled in the French 
manual and army movements, and spending our leisure 
hours in building roads. 

Our sector was active when we arrived at the camp, 
which is situated a few miles back of the lines; so we 
were put to work almost immediately. We make two 
kinds of trips, day trips and night trips; and perhaps 
if I tell you about my first experience in each it will 
give you an idea of the character. 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 53 

We were called at 3:30 a.m., so as to be ready to 
leave at four o'clock. Our convoy went to the nearby 
loading station and loaded up with 468 rounds of ammu- 
nition for the French "75" guns, which correspond to 
our three-inch guns. We carted these up to the dumping 
station near the batteries, and then came back. Nothing 
exciting happened, and we arrived in camp about 7 p.m. 
That night I was on guard duty during the last watch, 
and the following morning we worked our cars. The 
rough roads and the heavy loads are very hard on the 
cars as well as on the drivers, so that we must go over 
the cars every day to keep them in the pink of condition. 

That afternoon we got our orders to leave at 4 p.m. 
We loaded with barbed wire, iron posts, and lumber. 
The man in charge at the yards warned us that the wind 
was exactly right for Fritz to send over a bit of gas. 
So we hung our gas masks about our necks. It takes 
only thirty seconds for the gas to get in its work on 
you, and you must be prepared to put on the mask 
quickly. We started for the front at dark; no lights 
were allowed. We traveled along screened roads, by 
columns of artillery wagons, and with infantry moving 
in every direction, and with staff cars and ambulances 
dodging in and out for several miles. Finally we turned 
off on a narrow road which bore the marks of having 
received a shelling, and went through towns which had 
been leveled absolutely to the ground by shell fire, and 
passed an endless chain of dugouts, until we came to 
our destination. 

Most of our cars were unloaded and drawn up on a 
long, straight road just outside of the station, when our 
batteries opened up on the Germans. They certainly 



54 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

made some noise. They had not fired many rounds 
before Fritz began to retaliate, and then it was our turn 
to worry. His first shells went wild over our heads, 
but he got the range of the roads on which our trucks 
were packed, and very soon a shell struck about half a 
mile down the road. The next shell came closer. He 
was getting our range and coming straight up the road 
with his shrapnel. 

By this time the remaining cars were unloaded and 
had swung into line ready to leave. Just as a big 
shrapnel burst about fifty yards away, our lieutenant 
gave orders to start, and to start quickly. Believe me, 
brother, we did! The shells were screaming over our 
heads, and I was just about scared to death. I should 
not have worried about the screaming shells, because 
they are harmless as a barking dog. It is when they 
stop screaming that you want to get worried. 

Then he describes briefly the horrors of the war and 
expresses some doubt as to man's status being much 
above that of the beast. He says: 

When you see the fields laid waste, depopulated, bat- 
tered, and desolated, and people in the last stages of 
poverty, you doubt whether man is nearer to God than 
is the most cruel of beasts. It is truly a war for liberty, 
for liberty in politics, ideals, and standards of living. 
I believe that any one here who is at all sensitive or 
responsive to his environment feels as I do. 



THE "FIDDLER'S TRUCE" AT ARRAS 

TWENTY miles away the Prussians and the Cana- 
dians were struggling in the dust and mud for the 
battered suburbs of Lens, but the trenches which were 
enjoying the "Fiddler's Truce" were not marked to be 
taken by the staff officers of either army, and the only 
sign of war was the growling of the big guns far away. 
Here, too, Canadian opposed Prussian, but they did not 
fight until the death of Henry Schulman, killed by a 
most regrettable accident. He was only a private and 
not sufficiently famous as a violinist to have his death 
recorded in the musical journals of the world, but along 
the trenches his taking off is still being discussed as 
one of the real tragedies of the war. 

Late in the fall, after the Somme offensive was over, 
three Canadian regiments arrived on the Arras front 
and dug themselves into the brown mud to wait until 
spring made another advance practicable. Two hundred 
feet away were three Prussian regiments. There was 
little real fighting. When the routine of trench life 
became too monotonous a company would blaze away at 
the other trenches for a few minutes. At night it was 
so quiet that conversation in one trench carried over to 
the other, and there was a good deal of good-natured 
kidding back and forth. The Canadians were especially 
pleased by the nightly concerts of the Germans, and 
applauded heartily the spirited fiddling of one hidden 
musician. The rest of the story can best be told by 

55 



56 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Corporal Harry Seaton, in the New York Evening Mail: 

"One night we held up a piece of white cloth as a 
sign of truce/' he said. "With permission of our colonel 
I called out and asked the Boche if we couldn't have a 
bit of a concert. It was agreed, and Schulman — that 
was the fiddler's name — crawled out from his trench. 
One or two of our Johnnies crawled out, too, just as a 
sign of good faith. 

"Believe me, every one enjoyed the rest of that 
evening, and when things grew quiet next day some- 
body yelled for the fiddler to strike up a tune. He was 
a cobbler in Quebec before the war, and two of our 
Johnnies knew him and his wife and kids. It didn't 
take much coaxing after that, and he came out on the 
strip of 'No Man's Land' and played every night. 

"On the 23d of February we were ordered on to 
another part of the field and another regiment took our 
old trenches. Of course, in the hurry of departure 
nobody thought of Schulman. 

"That night he brought his stool out as usual, but 
before he could draw bow across the strings the strang- 
ers filled him full of lead. Of course, they didn't know. 

"The chaplain told us the story next day and we took 
up a collection to send back to the family in Berlin. 
I wonder if they ever got it!" 



HARRY LAUDER DOES HIS BIT 

' I ^HE Y. M.C.A. and Harry Lauder are two social 
-*- forces that one does not spontaneously connect up. 
But the former was the agency that brought the singer 
into the fighting camps of France, not only to hearten 
the soldiers there, but to pay a touching tribute to the 
sacrifice of his only son. Dr. George Adam, of Edin- 
burgh, who went with him, gives an account of the trip 
in Association Men (New York), the official organ of 
the Y. M.C.A. He also speaks of service under the 
banner of the Red Triangle that Mr. Lauder has ren- 
dered which brings the singing comedian before us in a 
manner hitherto unsuspected: 

"On a recent Sunday, although working at full pres- 
sure during the week in the play 'Three Cheers' at the 
Shaftesbury Theater, he gave up his rest day gladly to 
go away down to two of the great Canadian camps 
with me. 

"Some one in London asked the little man why he 
was going down to the camps. Why not join them in 
a quiet week-end on the river? Lauder's reply was as 
quaint as usual. : 'The boys can't get up to town to see 
me, so I am off to the camps to see them.' A right royal 
time he gave them, too. Picture ten thousand men in 
a dell on the rolling downs with a little platform in the 
center and there Lauder singing the old favorites you 
have heard so often and the soldiers love so much — 
'Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep,' 'Bantry Bay,' 'The 

57 



58 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Laddies Who Fought and Won/ 'Children's Home/ and 
many more. 

"This was not all ; his sou* must have been stirred by 
the sight of so many dear, brave men, for when the 
meeting seemed over, Lauder began to speak to the sol- 
diers. And a real speech he made, full of imagery, 
poetry, and fire. May I just tell you how he closed? 
'One evening in the gloaming in a northern town I was 
sitting by my parlor window when I saw an old man 
with a pole on his shoulder come along. He was a 
lamp-lighter, and made the lamp opposite my window 
dance into brightness. Interested in his work, I watched 
him pass along until the gloaming gathered round and I 
could see him no more. However, I knew just where 
he was, for other lamps flashed into flame. Having 
completed his task, he disappeared into a side street. 
Those lamps burned on through the night, making it 
bright and safe for those who should come behind him. 
An avenue of lights through the traffic and dangers of 
the city.' 

"With passionate earnestness Lauder cried: 'Boys, 
think of that man who lit the lamp, for you are his 
successors, only in a much nobler and grander way. You 
are not lighting for a few hours the darkness of passing 
night. You are lighting an avenue of lights that will 
make it safe for the generations of all time. Therefore, 
you must be earnest to do the right. Fight well and 
hard against every enemy without and within, and those 
of your blood who come after you will look up proudly 
in that light of freedom and say, "The sire that went 
before me lit a lamp in those heroic days when Britain 
warred for right." The first burst of illumination that 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 59 

the world had was in the lamp lit by Jesus, or rather 
he was the Light himself. He said truly, "I am the Light 
of the world." You are in his succession. Be careful 
how you bear yourselves. Quit ye like men! Be 
strong!' " 

The story of the effort made to induce the singing 
comedian to go "out there" touches on his well-known 
human frailty, in this case triumphantly overcome : 

"During a visit to France, and in conversation with 
one in high command in the army, talk turned to the 
high place Lauder had in the affections of his country- 
men, for we were both Scots. A strong desire was 
expressed that he should be got out among the soldiers 
in the battle line just to give them the cheer he knows 
so well how to impart. I promised to endeavor to 
arrange it, with trepidation, you may be sure, for you 
know what is so often said of Lauder and his money. 
However, with courage in both hands I asked him to 
give up the week that meant many thousands of dollars 
to go out to the boys. 

"The request seemed to stagger him, and for a minute 
I felt I was to fail, but it was the good fortune to receive 
such a request that took his breath away. 'Give me a 
week's notice and I go with you, and glad to go.' I 
replied, 'I give you notice now.' Whereupon he called 
to his manager, 'Tom, I quit in a week'; and he did, 
and off to the war zone he went. My pen is unequal 
to the task of describing that wonderful tour and the 
amazing results of it. The men went wild with enthu- 
siasm and joy wherever he went. One great meeting 
was apparently seen by some German airmen, who 
communicated the information to one of their batteries 



60 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

of artillery. In the middle of a song — whiz/ bang! — 
went a big shell very close at hand — so close, in fact, 
that pieces struck but a foot or two from where we both 
stood. There was a scatter and a scamper for cover, 
and for three-quarters of an hour the Huns hammered 
the position with two hundred big ones. When the 
bombardment ended, Lauder of the big-hearted Scotch 
courage must needs finish his concert/' 

Another incident shows the heart of Harry Lauder 
as those who have only heard his rollicking songs will 
rejoice in. 

"One day during our visit I was taking Harry to see 
the grave of his only child, Capt. John Lauder, of the 
Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, as fine a lad as 
ever wore a kilt, and as good and brave a son as ever 
a father loved. As we were motoring swiftly along we 
turned into the town of Albert and the first sharp glance 
at the cathedral showed the falling Madonna and Child. 
It was a startling and arresting sight, and we got out 
to have a good look. The building is crowned by a statue 
of Mary holding out the child Jesus to the world; a 
German shell had struck its base and it fell over, not 
to the ground, however, but at an acute angle out over 
the street. 

"While we lingered, a bunch of soldiers came march- 
ing through, dusty and tired. Lauder asked the officer 
to halt his men for a rest and he would sing to them. 
I could see that they were loath to believe it was the 
real Lauder until he began to sing. 

"Then the doubts vanished and they abandoned them- 
selves to the full enjoyment of this very unexpected 
pleasure. When the singsong began the audience would 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 61 

number about two hundred; at the finish of it easily 
more than two thousand soldiers cheered him on his 
way. 

"It was a strange send-off on the way that led to a 
grave — the grave of a father's fondest hopes — but so 
it was. A little way up the Bapaume road the car 
stopped and we clambered the embankment and away 
over the shell-torn field of Courcelette. Here and there 
we passed a little cross which marked the grave of some 
unknown hero; all that was written was 'A British 
Soldier.' He spoke in a low voice of the hope-hungry 
hearts behind all those at home. Now we climbed a 
little ridge and here a cemetery and in the first row 
facing the battlefield the cross on Lauder's boy's resting- 
place. 

"The father leaned over the grave to read what was 
written there. He knelt down ; indeed, he lay upon the 
grave and clutched it, the while his body shook with 
the grief he felt. 

"When the storm had spent itself he rose and prayed: 
'O God, that I could have but one request. It would 
be that I might embrace my laddie just this once and 
thank him for what he has done for his country and 
humanity.' 

"That was all, not a word of bitterness or complaint. 

"On the way down the hill I suggested gently that 
the stress of such an hour made further song that day 
impossible. 

"But Lauder's heart is big and British. Turning to 
me with a flash in his eye he said: 'George, I must be 
brave; my boy is watching and all the other boys are 
waiting. I will sing to them this afternoon though my 



.-TORIES FROM THE TRENCH. 

heart break !' Off we went again to another division of 
S :tish troops. 

within the hour, he sang again the sweet old 
songs of love and home and country, bringing all very 

and helping the men to realize the deeper 
victory for the enemy would mean. Grim and deter- 
mined men th .hat went back to their dugouts 
and trenches, heartened for the task of war I 

m by Harry Lauder. Harry's little kilted figure 
came and went from the war zone, but his influence 
ne influence of a heroic heart" 



CAUSE FOR GRIEVANCE 

A wounded soldier explained his grievance to his 
■ 

: see, old Smith was next to me in the trenches, 
the bullet that took me in the shoulder and laid 
me out went into 'im and made a bit of a flesh-wound in 
his arm. Of course I'm glad he wasn't 'urt bad. But 
rack to my bullet and given it his girL Now. I 
don't think that's fair. I'd a right to it. I'd never 
give a girl 'o mine a second-'and bullet.*' 



DOUBLY ANNOYING 

A German spy caught redhanded was on his w 
be ribot. 

"I think you English are brutes." he growled 
march me through this rain and slu 

-1," said the "Tommy" who was escorting him, 
"what about me? I have to go back in it" 



KING GEORGE UNDER FIRE 

XT' ING GEORGE and Queen Mary have been seeing 
-*•*- war at close range. Together they made an eleven 
days' visit to the British troops in France, and while 
there the King experienced the sensation of being under 
fire. While the Queen devoted herself to the hospitals 
and the sick and wounded, the King was shown all the 
latest devices for killing and maiming the enemy. It 
was soon after seeing what would happen to the Teutons 
that he decided to drop his Teutonic name and become 
Mr. Windsor. Says a dispatch from the British head- 
quarters in the New York Sun: 

On the first morning after his arrival in France, King 
George visited the Messines Ridge sector of the front, 
climbing the ridge while the Germans were shelling the 
woods just to his left. He inspected the ground over 
which the Irish troops, men from the north and the 
south, fought so gallantly side by side during the taking 
of the Messines Ridge, and where Major William Red- 
mond fell. While the King was doing this the Germans 
began shelling places on the ridge which he had left but 
half an hour before. The King visited also Vimy Ridge, 
from which he could see the German lines about Lens, 
with British shells breaking on them. 

For the benefit of the King a special show was staged 
that he might witness "that black art of frightfulness 
which has steadily increased the horrors of war since 
the day when the enemy let loose clouds of poisoned gas 

63 



64 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

upon the soldiers and civilians in Ypres," says Philip 
Gibbs in the Philadelphia Public Ledger: 

As soon as the King arrived on the field there was a 
sound of rushing air, and there shot forth a blast of 
red flame out of black smoke to a great distance and 
with a most terrifying effect. It came from an improved 
variety of flame projector. Then the King saw the pro- 
j ection of burning oil, burst out in great waves of liquid 
fire. A battalion of men would be charred like burned 
sticks if this touched them for a second. There was 
another hissing noise, and there rolled very sluggishly 
over the field a thick, oily vapor, almost invisible as it 
mixed with the air, and carrying instant death to any 
man who should take a gulp of it. To such a thing have 
all of us come in this war for civilization. 

The most spectacular show here was the most harm- 
less to human life, being a new form of smoke barrage 
to conceal the movement of troops on the battlefield. 

From this laboratory of the black art the King went 
to one of those fields where the machinery of war is 
beautiful, rising above the ugly things of this poor earth 
with light and grace, for this was an air-drome. As he 
came up, three fighting planes of the fastest British 
type went up in chase of an imaginary enemy. They 
arose at an amazing speed and shot across the sky-line 
like shadows racing from the sun. When they came back 
those three boys up there seemed to go a little mad and 
played tricks in the air with a kind of joyous careless- 
ness of death. They tumbled over and over, came 
hurtling down in visible corkscrews, looped the loop 
very close to the earth, flattened out after headlong 
dives, and rose again like swallows. The King was 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 65 

interested in the ages of these pilots and laughed when 
they confessed their youth, for one was nineteen and 
another twenty. 

The antics of the "tanks" furnished the King with 
a great deal of amusement. Leaving the air-drome, he 
was driven to a sunken field, very smooth and long, 
between two high wooded banks. Says Mr. Gibbs : 

Here there was a great surprise and a great sensation, 
for just as the King stepped out of his car a young tree 
in full foliage on the left of the field up a high bank 
toppled forward slowly and then fell with a crash into 
the undergrowth. Something was moving in the under- 
growth, something monstrous. It came heaving and 
tearing its way through the bushes, snapping off low 
branches and smashing young saplings like an elephant 
on stampede. Then it came into sight on top of the bank, 
a big gray beast, with a blunt snout, nosing its way 
forward and all tangled in green leaves and twigs. It 
was old brother tank doing his stunt before the King. 

From the far end of a long, smooth field came two 
other twin beasts of this ilk, crawling forward in a 
hurry as though hungry for human blood. In front of 
their track, at the other end of the field, were two breast- 
works built of sand-bags covering some timbered dug- 
outs and protected from sudden attack by two belts of 
barbed wire. The two tanks came along like hippo- 
potamuses on a spree, one of them waiting for the other 
when he lagged a little behind. They hesitated for a 
moment before the breastworks as if disliking the effort 
of climbing them, then heaved themselves up, thrust out 
their snouts, got their hind quarters on the move, and 
waddled to the top. Under their vast weight the sand- 



66 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

bags flattened out, the timber beneath slipped and 
cracked, and the whole structure began to collapse, and 
the twins plunged down on the other side and advanced 
to attack the barbed wire. 

Another tank now came into action from the far end 
of the field, bearing the legend on its breast of "Faugh-a- 
ballagh" which, I am told, is Irish for "get out of the 
way." It was the Derby winner of the tanks' fleet. 
From its steel flanks guns waggled to and fro, and no 
dragon of old renown looked half so menacing as this. 
St. George would have had no chance against it. But 
King George, whose servant it was, was not afraid, and 
with the Prince of Wales he went through the steel trap- 
door into the body of the beast. For some time we lost 
sight of the King and Prince, but after a while they 
came out laughing, having traveled around the field for 
ten minutes in the queerest car on earth. 

The great thrill of the day came later. Through the 
woods of a high bank on the left came a tank, looking 
rather worse for wear, as though battered in battle. 

It came forward through the undergrowth and made 
for the edge of the bank, where there was a machine 
gun emplacement in a bomb-proof shelter, whose steep 
bank was almost perpendicular. It seemed impossible 
that any old tank should entertain a notion of taking 
that j ump, but this tank came steadily on until its snout 
was well over the bank and steadily on again with that 
extraordinary method of progression in which the whole 
body of the beast moves from the nose end upward until 
it seems to have a giraffe's neck and very little else. 
That very little else was sitting on the top of the 
emplacement while the forward part of the tank was 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 67 

poised in space regarding the setting sun. However, 
without any hesitation, the whole mass moved on, lurched 
out, and nose-dived. 

Good Lord ! it was then that the thrill came. The 
tank plunged down like a chunk of cliff as it fell, went 
sideways and lost its balance, and, as near as anything 
could be, almost turned turtle. It righted itself with 
a great jerk at the nick of time just before it took the 
earth below and shaved by a hair's breadth an ammu- 
nition dump at the bottom of the drop. 

It was the finest tank trick I ever saw, and it was 
greeted with laughter and cheers. The King, however, 
and other spectators were rather worried about the lads 
inside. They must have taken a mighty toss. No sound 
came from the inside of the tank, and for a moment 
some of us had a vision of a number of plucky fellows 
laid out unconscious within those steel walls. The door 
opened and we could see their feet standing straight, 
which was a relief. 

"Let them all come out," said the King, laughing 
heartily. And out they all tumbled, a row of young 
fellows as merry and bright as air pilots after a good 
landing. 



THE FEMALE STANDARD OF SIZE 

Lady (entering bank, very businesslike) — "I wish to 
get a Liberty Loan bond for my husband." 

Clerk — "What size, please ?" 

Lady — "Why, I don't believe I know, exactly, but 
he wears a fifteen shirt." 



STORY OF OUR FIRST SHOT 

I PICKED that shell right up as it came out of 
the gun — I saw it go through the air in its flight, 
and I saw it strike a foot in front of that periscope!" 

That is the way Lieut. Bruce R. Ware, Jr., U.S. N., 
who commanded the gun crew of the steamship Mon- 
golia, told of the first American shot fired in the war 
at a German submarine. He related the story at a 
testimonial dinner given to him and to Capt. Emery 
Rice, of the Mongolia, upon the arrival of the steamship 
at New York. The dinner was attended by many per- 
sons prominent in business, steamship, and naval circles, 
some having traveled hundreds of miles to be present. 
As reported by the New York Times, Lieutenant Ware 
told the story as follows: 

At 5:21 the chief officer walked out on the port 
bridge. The captain and myself were on our heels 
looking out through the port. I saw the chief officer 
turn around, and you could have seen the whole ocean 
written in his face, and his mouth that wide (indicating), 
and he could not get it out. He finally said : "My God, 
look at that submarine !" 

The captain gripped my arm and said: "What is 
that?" I said: "It is a submarine, and he has got 
up." 

I followed the captain out on the bridge and I looked 
at my gun crews. They were all agape. The lookout 
was all agape. I threw in my starboard control and I 
68 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 69 

said: "Captain, zigzag." I did not tell him which way 
to go. We had that all doped out. The captain star- 
boarded his helm and the ship turned to port and we 
charged him (the U-boat) and made him go under. I 
went up on top of the chart house with my phones on, 
and I had a long, powerful glass, ten power. Right 
underneath it I always lashed my transmitter, so that 
where I was my transmitter went, and I didn't have to 
worry or hunt for it. It was always plugged in, and I 
said: 

"No. 3 gun, after gun, train on the starboard quarter, 
and when you see a submarine and periscope or conning 
tower, report." 

The gun crew reported control. "We see it — no, no — 
it has gone. There it is again." I picked it up at that 
moment with my high-powered glass, and I gave them 
the range — 1,000 yards. Scale 50. She was about 800 
yards away from us. I gave the order, "No. 3 gun, fire, 
commence firing." 

I had my glasses on them, gentlemen, and I saw that 
periscope come up. "No. 3 gun, commence firing, fire, 
fire, fire." And they did, and I picked that shell right 
up as it came out of the gun — a black, six-inch explosive 
shell. I saw it go through the air in its flight, and I 
saw it strike the water eight inches — a foot — in front 
of that periscope and it went into the conning tower. 
I saw that periscope go end over end, whipping through 
that water, and I saw plates go off his conning tower, 
and I saw smoke all over the scene where we had hit 
the enemy. 

When Captain Rice was called upon for a speech he 
said: 



70 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

"Gentlemen, I'd much rather take the Mongolia 
through the war zone than make a speech. All I will 
say is that I am ready to go again, and I hope I have 
another chance at a £7-boat." 



HE KNEW WHAT TO DO 

A short time back, while a certain general was in- 
specting a regiment just about to depart for new quar- 
ters, he asked a young subaltern what would be his next 
order if he was in command of a regiment passing over a 
plain in a hostile country, and he found his front 
blocked by artillery, a brigade of cavalry on his right 
flank, and a morass on his left, while his retreat was cut 
off by a large body of infantry. 

"Halt! Order arms, ground arms, kneel down, say 
your prayers !" replied the subaltern. 



THAT WAS THE HYMN NUMBER 

Here is a story which if it is not true ought to be. 
The soldier in the train was dilating on his changed 
life. 

"They took me from my home," he said, "and put 
me in barracks ; they took away my clothes and put me 
in khaki; they took away my name and made me 'No. 
675'; they took me to church, where I'd never been 
before, and they made me listen to a sermon for forty 
minutes. Then the parson said, 'No. 575, Art thou 
weary, art thou languid?' And I got seven days' C.B. 
for giving him a civil answer." 



STORIES FROM THE FRONT 

T NTIMATE stories of life in the trenches "some- 
■*■ where in France" are told in two letters that describe 
in man-to-man fashion incidents that present an unusual 
picture of the battle front, full of color as well as of 
darkening shadows. The letters were written by Mr. 
Stevenson P. Lewis, serving with the American Ambu- 
lance Corps, to his cousin, Mr. W. O. Curtiss, of Toledo, 
Ohio. They are dated May 21 and 26, and extracts are 
printed in the Toledo Blade. Mr. Lewis has no com- 
plaint to make of the food. He finds the horse meat 
"a little tough," but seemingly palatable. He writes: 

We get good food, but miss the extra dishes. We get 
the famous army bread, rather sour taste, but am used 
to it now — no butter, of course; oatmeal without milk 
or sugar, horse meat, potatoes, and various flavors of 
jam. The horse meat is usually a little tough, but other- 
wise pretty good. Have biscuits and chocolate at the 
canteen. A couple of pieces of hardtack, with water 
and chocolate, do for a dinner very well when away 
from camp. 

We have considerable time just now, with nothing to 
fill in, and I can't quite go it, so I hike out for walks 
and have picked up quite a few good pictures and 
souvenirs. Picked up an eagle with spread wings — 
German silver, a decoration worn on a German officer's 
helmet, inscribed "Mitt Gott fur Konig und Vaterland." 
It is rather a rare find, as the old spiked helmet is not 
worn any more. 

71 



72 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Sunday we had a visit from Germany in the shape of 
an airplane which dropped five bombs in the next village. 
Two French machines gave chase and brought him down, 
but he caused considerable excitement until he reached 
the ground. They always come over at a high altitude 
and do not seem in any hurry to leave, regardless of 
the shrapnel shots placed around the planes. This one, 
the second we have seen come down, made two complete 
turns and then dived straight down. 

We have had some trouble with some of the men in 
charge, due to the wandering of one of our men into the 
first line trenches. The man guilty has acted ever since 
he arrived as though missing in essential brain cells, but 
this time he crowned his former efforts — walked up a 
valley with Boche trenches on one side, French on the 
other, he down the middle in No Man's Land. Lucky 
he came back at all. The French called him over to their 
trenches, otherwise I suppose he would be walking into 
Berlin by this time. 

We are working with an English ambulance section, 
taking turns making runs to field stations, where the 
wounded are sent direct from trenches. We carry them 
from these first-aid posts back to another post, and the 
English section, with its large cars, carry them ten or 
fifteen miles farther back. Then the order is reversed. 
The English are a mighty interesting lot, and most of 
them have been in service since 1914, hence have seen 
action all along this front. The hardest driving is at 
night running up to the posts just back of the lines, for 
all the moving is done then. The road is crowded with 
ammunition trucks, supplies, guns, and troops, and with 
no lights it is uncertain what is coming or going. Several 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 73 

men have ditched their cars and run by the station, but 
no serious accidents have occurred. Star shells sent up 
at intervals give a blinding light and the whole country- 
side is as light as day for a short time, then suddenly 
dark. It is this quick change that makes it hard to 
adjust our vision. 

This English section has been through the hottest 
fighting on this front, having been posted at Verdun last 
year and running to the most advanced posts, but never 
lost a man and had only a few slight accidents. A per- 
son would think they were playing a safe game, but 
not so, after hearing of some bombardments they ran 
through. One man in the British ambulance corps has 
the Victoria Cross, the hardest war medal of any to get. 
He drove his car up the lines in plain sight of the 
Germans. One of the stretcher bearers having been 
killed, he rushed out on to No Man's Land with another 
man and rescued several men, put them into his car, and 
drove off, all the time being the object of German fire. 
The English are world-beaters in the flying game, as 
I suppose you have heard. The minute a Boche plane 
appears over their lines, a couple of fast monoplanes 
are after it and usually bring it down. Heard of one 
air battle between five English machines and ten Ger- 
mans; five of the German machines were brought down 
and the remaining five headed for Berlin with two 
English planes after them. The English did not lose 
a machine. Again there were three German "sausages" 
(observation balloons), and three English aviators, each 
m a machine, were detailed to bring them down, each 
aviator to take a balloon. Two of the Englishmen each 
got their balloon, but the Germans, seeing what had 



74 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

happened, lowered the third balloon. However, the 
Englishman ordered to get it, being ruffled a bit because 
he did not get a chance to get his "bag" as the other 
two did, dived down over the balloon resting in German 
territory, setting it afire and killing a number of Ger- 
mans. He was wounded badly, but succeeded in bring' 
ing his machine back. He was awarded the Victoria 
Cross. Many other war medals are given, but a man 
who gets the Victoria Cross really has done a feat of 
individual bravery. 



FUNNY THEY HADN'T MET 

Pretty Lady Visitor (at private hospital) — "Can I 
see Lieutenant Barker, please?" 

Matron — "We do not allow ordinary visiting. May I 
ask if you're a relative?" 

Visitor (boldly) — "Oh, yes ! I'm his sister." 

Matron — "Dear me ! I'm very glad to meet you. I'm 
his mother." 



NO END TO THE GAME 

Two American lads were discussing the war. 

"It'll be an awful long job, Sam," said one. 

"It will," replied the other. 

"You see, these Germans is takin' thousands and 
thousands of Russian prisoners, and the Russians is 
takin' thousands and thousands of German prisoners. 
If it keeps on, all the Russians will be in Germany and 
all the Germans in Russia. And then they'll start all 
over again, fightin' to get back their 'omes." 



UNCLE SAM, DETECTIVE 

THE detective work accomplished by the United 
States Government since its entry into the war has 
been worthy of a Sherlock Holmes, and yet few persons, 
reading only the results of this remarkably developed 
system, have realized that a Government heretofore 
finding it unnecessary to match wits with foreign spy 
bureaus has suddenly taken a high rank in this unpleas- 
ant but absolutely essential branch of war-making — as 
it has in all others. The public read of the intercepted 
dispatches from the Argentine to Germany by way of 
Sweden, and of the Bernstorff messages, but without a 
realization of the problem that a cipher dispatch pre- 
sents to one who has not the key. And probably the 
average reader is unaware that, in both the army and 
navy, experts have been trained to decipher code mes- 
sages, with the result that both the making and the 
reading of such dispatches have been reduced to an 
almost mathematical science. The Philadelphia Press, 
in outlining the instruction given in this important work 
at the Army Service schools, says : 

What is taught the military will furnish an idea of 
the task of the code experts in the State Department, 
and of the basis of the science that has unmasked the 
German plans with respect to vessels to be spurlos 
versenkt and of legislators to be influenced through the 
power of German gold. 

"It may as well be stated," says Capt. Parker Hitt — 
75 



76 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

that is, he was a captain of infantry when he said it 
— "that no practicable military cipher is mathematically 
indecipherable if intercepted; the most that can be 
expected is to delay for a longer or shorter time the 
deciphering of the message by the interceptor." 

The young officer is warned that one doesn't have to 
rely in these times upon capturing messengers as they 
speed by horse from post to post. All radio messages 
may be picked up by every operator within the zone, 
and the interesting information is given that if one can 
run a fine wire within one hundred feet of a buzzer line 
or within thirty feet of a telegraph line, whatever tidings 
may be going over these mediums may be copied by 
induction. 

In order that the student may not lose heart, it is 
pointed out in the beginning that many European powers 
use ciphers that vary from extreme simplicity to "a 
complexity which is more apparent than real." And as 
to amateurs, who make up ciphers for some special pur- 
pose, it's dollars to doughnuts that their messages will 
be read just as easily as though they had printed them 
in box-car letters. 

At every headquarters of an army the intelligence 
department of the General Staff stands ready to play 
checkers with any formidable looking document that 
comes along in cipher, and there is mighty little matter 
in code that stands a ghost of a chance of getting by. 

The scientific dissection of ciphers starts with the 
examination of the general system of language com- 
munication, which, with everybody excepting friend 
Chinaman, is an alphabet composed of letters that 
appear in conventional order. 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 77 

It was early found by the keen-eyed gentlemen who 
analyzed ciphers that if one took ten thousand words 
of any language and counted the letters in them the 
number of times that any one letter would recur 
would be found practically identical with their recur- 
rence in any other ten thousand words. From this 
discovery the experts made frequency tables, which 
show just how many times one may expect to find a 
letter e or any other letter in a given number of words 
or letters. These tables were made for ten thousand 
letters and for two hundred letters, so that one might 
get an idea how often to expect to find given letters in 
both long and short messages or documents. 

Thus we find the following result: 

"Letters 

10000 200 

A 778 16 N 

B 141 3 O 

C 296 6 P 

D 402 8 Q 

E 1277 26 R 

F 197 4 S 

G 174 3 T 

H 595 12 U 

I 667 13 V 

J 51 1 W 

K .. 74 2 X 

L 372 7 Y 

M 288 6 Z 

It is found that in any text the vowels A E I O U 
represent 38.37 per cent; that the consonants L X 



Letters 


10000 


200 


686 


14 


807 


16 


223 


4 


8 




651 


13 


622 


12 


855 


17 


308 


6 


112 


2 


176 


3 


27 




196 


4 


17 





78 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

R S T represent 31.86 per cent, and that the con- 
sonants JKQXZ stand for only 1.77 per cent. One 
doesn't want to shy away from these figures as being 
dry and dull, because they form part of a story as 
interesting as any detective narrative that was ever 
penned by a Conan Doyle. 

For the usual purposes of figuring a cipher the first 
group is given the value of 40 per cent, the second group 
30 per cent, and the last 2 per cent. And then one is 
introduced to the order of frequency in which letters 
appear in ordinary text. It is : 

ETOANIRSHDLUCMPFYWGB 
V K J X Z Q. 

Tables are then made for kinds of matter that is not 
ordinary, taken from various kinds of telegraphic and 
other documents, which will alter only slightly the per- 
centage values of the letters as shown in a table from 
ordinary English. 

Having gone along thus far, the expert figures how 
many times he can expect to find two letters occurring 
together. These are called digraphs, and one learns 
that AH will show up once in a thousand letters, while 
HA will be found twenty-six times. These double-letter 
combinations form a separate table all of their own, and 
the common ones are set aside, as TH, ER, ON, OR, 
etc., so they can be readily guessed or mathematically 
figured against any text. 

Tables of frequency are figured out for the various 
languages, particularly German, and the ciphers are 
divided into two chief classes, substitution and trans- 
position. The writer in The Press says: 

Now you will remember those percentages of vowels 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 79 

and consonants. Here is where they come in. When a 
message is picked up the army expert counts the times 
that the vowels recur, and if they do not check with 
the 40 per cent for the common vowels, with the conso- 
nant figures tallying within 5 per cent of the key, he 
knows that he is up against a substitution cipher. The 
transposition kind will check to a gnat's heel. 

When the expert knows exactly what he is up against 
he is ready to apply the figures and patiently unravel 
the story. It may take him hours, and maybe days, but 
sooner or later he will get it to a certainty. 

If he has picked up a transposition fellow he pro- 
ceeds to examine it geometrically, placing the letters 
so that they form all sorts of squares and rectangles 
that come under the heads of simple horizontals, simple 
verticals, alternate horizontals, alternate verticals, sim- 
ple diagonals, alternate diagonals, spirals reading clock- 
wise, and spirals reading counter-clockwise. Once one 
gets the arrangement of the letters, the reading is simple. 

For instance, ILVGIOIAEITSRNMANHMNG 
comes along the wire. It doesn't figure for a substi- 
tution cipher and you try the transposition plan. There 
are twenty-one letters in it, and the number at once 
suggests seven columns of three letters each. Try it on 
your piano : 



I 


L 


V 


G 


I 





I 


A 


E 


I 


T 


S 


R 


N 


M 


A 


N 


H 


M 


N 


G 



And reading down each column in succession you get 
"I am leaving this morning." 

After passing over several simple ciphers as not 



80 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

"classy" enough to engage the reader's attention, the 
writer takes up one of a much more complicated nature, 
which, however, did not get by Uncle Sam's code 
wizards. Follow the deciphering of this example by 
Captain Hitt: 

He began with an advertisement which appeared in 
a London newspaper, which read as follows: 
"M. B. Will deposit <£27 14-5. 5d. to-morrow." 
The next day this advertisement in cipher appeared : 
"m. b. ct osb uhgi tp ipewf h cewil nsttle fjnvx 
xtyls fwkkhi bjlsi sq voi bksm xmkul sk nvponpn 
gsw ol ieag npsi hyjisfz cyy npuxqg tprja vxmxi ap 
ehvppr th wppnel. uvzua mmyvsf knts zsz uajpq 
dlmmjxl jr ra portelogj csultwni xmkuhw xgln 
elcpowy ol. uljtl bvj tlbwtpz xld k zisznk osy 
dl ryjuajssgk. tlfns uvd vv fqgcyl fjhvsi yjl nexv 
po wtol pyyyhsh gqboh agztiq eyfax ypmp sqa ci 
xeyvxnppaii uv tlftwmc fit wbwxguhiwu. aiiwg hsi 
yjvti bjv xmqn sfx dob lrty tz qtxlnisvz. gift all 
uqsjgj ohz xfowfv bkai ctwy dswtltttpkfrhg ivx 
qcafv tp diis jbf esf jsc mccf hngk esbp djpq nlu 
ctw rosb csm." 

Now just off-hand, the average man would shy away 
from this combination as a bit of news that he really did 
not care to read. But to the cipher fiend it was a thing 
of j oy, and it illustrates one of the many cases that they 
are called upon to read, and the methods by which they 
work. 

As a starting-point the cipher-man assumed that the 
text was in English because he got it out of an English 
newspaper, but he did not stop there. He checked it 
from a negative view-point by finding the letter w in it, 
which does not occur in the Latin languages, and by 
finding that the last fifteen words of the message had 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 81 

from two to four letters each, which would have been 
impossible in German. 

Then he proceeds to analyze. The message has 108 
groups that are presumably words, and there are 473 
letters in it. This makes an average of 4.4 letters to the 
group, whereas one versed in the art normally expects 
about five. There are ninety vowels of the AEIOTJ 
group and seventy-eight letters JKQXZ. Harking 
back to that first statement of percentages, it is certain 
that this is a substitution cipher because the percentage 
does not check with the transposition averages. 

The canny man with the sharp pencil then looks for 
recurring groups and similar groups in his message and 
he finds that they are : 

AIIWG All BKSM BKAI CT CTWY CTW 
DLMMJXL DL ESF ESBP FJNVX FJHVSI NPSJ 
NPUXQG OSB OSY ROSB OL OL PORTELOGJ PO 
SQ SQA TP TP TLBWTPZ TLFNS TLFTWMC 
UVZUA UVD UV SMKUL XMKUHW YJL YJVTI. 

Passing along by the elimination route he refers to his 
frequency tables to see how often the same letters occur, 
and he finds that they are all out of proportion, and he 
can proceed to hunt the key for several alphabets. 

He factors the recurring groups like a small boy doing 
a sum in arithmetic when he wants to find out how many 
numbers multiplied by each other will produce a larger 
one. The number of letters between recurring groups 
and words is counted and dissected in this wise : 

AH AH 45, which equals 3x3x5 

BK BK 345, which equals 23x3x5 

CT CT 403,no factors 



82 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

CTW CTW 60, which equals 2x2x2x5 

DL DL 75, which equals 3x5x5 

ES ES 14, which equals 2x7 

FJ FJ 187,no factors 

NP NP 14, which equals 2x7 

OL OL 120, which equals 2x2x2x3x5 

OS OS 220, which equals 11x2x2x5 

OSB OSB 465, which equals 31x3x5 

PO PO 105, which equals 7x3x5 

SQ SQ 250, which equals 2x5x5x5 

TLF TLF 80, which equals 2x2x2x2x5 

TP TP 405, which equals 3x3x3x3x5 

UV UV 115, which equals 23x5 

XMKU XMKU 120, which equals 2x2x2x3x5 

UV UV 73,no factors 

YJ YJ 85, which equals 17x5 

Now the man who is doing the studying takes a squint 
at this result and he sees that the dominant factor all 
through the case is the figure 5, so he is reasonably sure 
that five alphabets were used, and that the key-word 
had, therefore, five letters, so he writes the message in 
lines of five letters each and makes a frequency table 
for each one of the five columns he has formed, and he 
gets the following result: 

Col. 1. Col. 2. Col. 3. Col. 4. Col. 5. 

A2 A9 Al Al A2 

B— B 3 B 3 B— B 7 

C 7 CI C 3 C 4 C— 

D 2 D 2 D 1 D— D 3 

E 4 E— E 2 E 7 E— 

F 3 F— F 9 F 3 F 5 






STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 83 
Col. 1. Col. 2. Col. 3. Col. 4. Col. 5. 



G 9 


G— 


G 3 


G 2 


G 2 


H 3 


H 5 


H 3 


H 3 


H 2 


I 2 


I 2 


I 7 


I 17 


I 2 


J 5 


J 1 


J 6 


J— 


J 9 


K 6 


K 5 


K— 


K 1 


K 1 


L— 


L 19 


L 2 


L 5 


L 1 


M— 


M— 


M 7 


M 4 


M 3 


N 7 


N 3 


N 4 


N— 


N 5 


O 5 


O— 


O 9 


O 1 


O— 


P 7 


P 7 


P 8 


P 4 


P— 


Q 5 


Q- 


Q- 


Q 2 


Q 6 


R— 


R 1 


R 1 


R 6 


R 1 


S— 


S 8 


S 6 


S 12 


S 7 


T 7 


T 3 


T 5 


T 1 


T 14 


U 7 


U 3 


U 6 


U— 


U 1 


V 5 


V— 


V 2 


V 5 


V— 


W 3 


W 4 


W— 


W 5 


W 7 


X 2 


X— 


X 4 


X 8 


X 6 


Y 4 


Y 5 


Y— 


Y 3 


Y 7 


Z— 


Z 5 


Z 3 


Z— 


Z 3 



Now, having erected these five enigmatical columns, 
Captain Hitt juggles them until he uncovers the hidden 
message, thus: 

"In the table for column 1 the letter G occurs 9 
times," he says with an air of a man having found 
something that is perfectly plain. "Let us consider it 
tentatively as E. 

"Then, if the cipher alphabet runs regularly and in 
the direction of the regular alphabet, C (7 times) is 
equal to A, and the cipher alphabet bears a close resem- 



84 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

blance to the regular frequency table. Note that TUV 
(equal to RST) occurring respectively 7, 7, and 5 times 
and the non-occurrence of B, L, M, R, S, Z (equal to 
Z, J, K, P, Q, and X, respectively). 

"In the next table L occurs 19 times, and taking it for 
E with the alphabet running the same way, A is equal 
to H. The first word of our message, CT, thus becomes 
AM when deciphered with these two alphabets, and the 
first two letters of the key are CH. 

"Similarly in the third table we may take either F or 
O for E, but a casual examination shows that the former 
is correct and A is equal to B. 

"In the fourth table I is clearly E and A is equal 
to E. 

"The fifth table shows that T is equal to 14 and J is 
equal to 9. If we take J as equal to E then T is equal to 
O, and in view of the many Es already accounted for in 
the other columns this may be all right. It checks as 
correct if we apply the last three alphabets to the second 
word of our message, OSB, which deciphers NOW. 
Using these alphabets to decipher the whole message we 
find it to read : 

" 'M. B. Am now safe on board a barge moored below 
Tower Bridge, where no one will think of looking for 
me. Have good friends but little money owing to action 
of police. Trust, little girl, you still believe in my inno- 
cence although things seem against me. There are rea- 
sons why I should not be questioned. Shall try to 
embark before the mast in some outward-bound vessel. 
Crews will not be scrutinized as sharply as passengers. 
There are those who will let you know my movements. 
Fear the police may tamper with your correspondence, 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 85 

but later on, when hue and cry have died down, will let 
you know all." 

It all seems simple to the man who follows the idea 
closely, but Captain Hitt proceeds to make further 
revelations of the art. He adds : 

"The key to this message is CHBEF, which is not 
intelligible as a word, but if put into figures, indicating 
that the 2d, 7th, 1st, 4th, and 5th letter beyond the 
corresponding letter of the message has been used as a 
key it becomes 27145, and we connect it with the per- 
sonal which appeared in the same paper the day before 
reading: 

" 'M. B. Will deposit £27 14*. 5d. tomorrow.' " 

This is only one of the many methods for getting 
under the hide of a coded message that our bright men 
of the Army and their cousins of the State and Navy 
departments have worked out through years of study and 
application. 



DRIVING IS TOO GOOD FOR THEM 

He — "And that night we drove the Germans back 
two miles." 

She — "Drove them, indeed. I'd have made them 
walk every step of it." 



NOW THEY DON'T SPEAK 

The Host — "I thought of sending some of these cigars 
out to the Front." 

The Victim — "Good idea! But how can you make 
certain that the Germans will get them ?" 



DIDN'T RAISE HIS BOY TO BE A 
"SLACKER" 

THEY don't raise their boys to be gun-shy down in 
the mountains of Kentucky, so when John Calhoun 
Allen, of Clay County, heard that his son had been 
arrested in New York as a "slacker" he was "plumb 
mad." 

The young man was rounded up with a bunch of other 
"conscientious objectors" and taken before Judge Mayer 
in the Federal Court. John C. junior told the judge 
that during his boyhood in the Kentucky mountains he 
had witnessed so much bloodshed that he was now op- 
posed to fighting and had a horror of killing a man or, 
in fact, of being killed himself. The judge was puzzled. 
He had never heard before of a Kentuckian with any 
such complaint, so he packed the young man off to Belle- 
vue for the "once-over" while he communicated the facts 
to his father down in Clay County, and, says the New 
York Times: 

The answer arrived in the form of the 6 feet 2 inches 
of John Allen himself. The mountaineer came into 
court just before the noon hour. He wore the boots and 
the corduroy trousers of the Kentucky hills. His shirt 
was blue, collarless, and home-made. His coat was old- 
fashioned, and in his hand he carried his big black 
sombrero. 

"May it please your honor," said United States Dis- 
trict Attorney Knox, "we have with us the father of 
John Calhoun Allen." 

86 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 87 

The mountaineer looked the Judge squarely in the eye 
and bowed. Tall and erect, he towered above every 
other man in the court room and he was not in the least 
embarrassed. 

"Judge/' he said, "I got your letter and I thank you 
for it, and I started to answer it in writin', but decided 
that maybe it was better that I come here myself and 
see what's the matter with that boy of mine. It ain't 
like our folks to act as that youngster has acted, and I 
assure you that I am plumb mad about it. I have five 
boys, and this one who is in trouble here is the oldest. 
Two of my lads are already in the Army and the two 
youngest will be there soon as they are old enough. 

"And so I have come all the way from Kentucky to get 
this one who I hear is a backslider. All I ask is for you 
to let me take my boy back to Kentucky with me, and I 
will see to it that he comes to time when his country calls. 
There ain't going to be no quitters in the Allen family. 
My boys that are already in the Army ain't twenty-one 
yet. This one is my oldest and he's the first to miss the 
trail, but he'll find the trail again or I'll know the reason 
why." 

"I have the utmost confidence in you," said Judge 
Mayer after the old man finished, "and I shall release 
jdut son in your custody, confident that you will see 
to it that he obeys the law and registers." 

"He'll register all right, Judge," replied the old man, 
"and I tell you that if he don't, something will happen 
in the public square back home, and all the folks will 
have a chance to see with their own eyes that the Aliens 
don't stand for no quitters at a time when the country 
needs all the men it can get." 



88 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

In the meantime Marshal McCarthy had sent to the 
Tombs for young Allen, and the young man was wait- 
ing in the Marshal's office when his father arrived. 
They are self-contained people down in the Kentucky 
mountains. Their feelings are deep, but well con- 
trolled, so that when father and son met there was 
no show of emotion on the part of either. But the 
sight of his son softened the father's anger. He placed 
his hand gently on the younger man's shoulder, and 
this is the way The Times describes the scene that 
followed : 

"Son," said the father, "don't you know what it means 
to do what you tried to do? Don't you know that you 
don't come from no such stock as these slackers and 
quitters, or whatever else you call such cattle? Don't 
you know that, boy? Well, if you don't, it's time you 
started learnin'. Now you ain't crazy, for our folks 
don't go crazy, and you are goin' to register, and you are 
goin' to fight, and fight your darnedest, too, if your coun- 
try calls you. Now just put that in your head and let it 
stay there. I don't want to hurt you, and I ain't if you 
do right; but I just want to say that if you don't do 
right, when I get you back home I will take you into the 
public square and shoot you myself in the presence of all 
the folks." 

The boy, with tears in his eyes, said he would register 
just as quickly as he could. 

"And I'll fight, too, if they want me," the boy added. 

"Of course you will, for if you didn't you wouldn't be 
my son," the old man replied. 

And that was the end of the Allen incident. 

"That old fellow is one of the kind that makes the 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 89 

country great. He is a real American/' said Judge 
Mayer afterward. 

Just before he left the Federal Building, John Allen 
asked one of the deputy marshals what case was being 
tried before Judge Mayer. (It was the case of Emma 
Goldman and Alexander Berkman.) 

"I noticed a man and a woman and I wondered who 
they were. What did they do?" he asked. 

"They are anarchists and they are on trial for urging 
men not to register for the war/' the Marshal replied. 

"Those are the kind'er folks who are responsible for 
boys like this one of mine gettin' in trouble," John Allen 
observed. "We don't have folks like that down our 
way." 



CONSOLING INFORMATION 

Mrs. S. Kensington — "We have such good news from 
the front! Dear Charles is safely wounded, at last!" 



HE WAS ALL RIGHT 

Doctor — "Why were you rejected?" 

Applicant (smiling) — "For imbecility." 

"What do you do for a living?" 

"Nothing; I have an income of six thousand dollars." 

"Are you married ?" 

"Yes." 

"What does you wife do?" 

"Nothing; she is richer than I." 

"You are no imbecile. Passed for general service." 



THE 100-POUND TERROR OF THE AIR 

WHEN he registered at a New York hotel the clerk 
looked him over with a supercilious eye. He 
was a trifle undersized, to be sure, and youngish — 
twenty-two and weighing only one hundred pounds. 
And the name, W. A. Bishop, hastily scrawled on the 
register, meant nothing to the clerk — probably some 
college stripling in town to give Broadway the once-over. 
But a little later the same clerk looked at that name on 
the hotel roster with a sensation as nearly approaching 
awe as a New York hotel clerk is capable of feeling; for 
he had learned that the diminutive guest was the world- 
famous Maj. William Avery Bishop, of the British 
Royal Flying Corps, who in three months won every 
decoration Great Britain has created to pin upon the 
breasts of her gallant fighters. 

Mars is a grim god and an exacting master, but he 
sometimes "smoothes his wrinkled f ront" at the blandish- 
ments of the little god of Love. And it was so in the case 
of Major Bishop when the gallant knight of the air 
checked the war-god in the hotel coat room and slipped 
away with Dan Cupid to Toronto, where his sweetheart 
was waiting to welcome him. They are to be married 
before he returns to the front. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reckons Bishop as the 
greatest air fighter since Guynemer. It says of his 
exploits: 

So far as is known, Major Bishop is the only living 
90 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 91 

man who has a right to wear not only the Military 
Medal but the Order of Distinguished Service, and not 
only that, but the Victoria Cross. Yet he is only twenty- 
two years old, and he blushed and stammered like a 
schoolboy when he tried to explain something about air 
fighting at a Canadian club dinner in New York. How- 
ever, here is his record as piled up in five months at the 
front : 

One hundred and ten single combats with Ger- 
man fliers. 

Forty-seven Hun airplanes sent crashing to the 
earth. 

Twenty-three other planes sent down, but under 
conditions which made it impossible to know cer- 
tainly that they and their pilots had been destroyed. 

Thrilling escapes without number, including one 
fall of 4,000 feet with his machine in flames. 

The most daredevil feat of the war — an attack 
single-handed on a Boche airdrome, in which he 
destroyed three enemy machines. 

These feats not only won medals for the hero, but 
rapid promotion. With his appointment as Major, he 
was also named chief instructor of aerial gunnery — 
which is his chief hobby — and commander of an airplane 
squadron. 

Bishop went to Europe from his home in Owen Sound, 
a little Ontario town, where his father is County Regis- 
trar, in the spring of 1 9 1 5 as a cavalry private. Cavalry- 
men have an easy time these days waiting for the trench 
warfare to end and the coming of the open fighting, when 
they can get at the Hun. Bishop didn't want to wait, 



92 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

so he was transferred to the flying corps. He made no 
particular impression on these officers, but finally got a 
place as observer in the spring of 1916. His machine 
was shot down presently, and when he came out of 
hospital he was given three months' leave, most of which 
he spent at home. 

When he went back last fall he tried again, and this 
time succeeded in qualifying as a pilot. He spent the 
early winter training in England, and finally reached 
the front in February. Then things began to happen. 

His first enemy plane was brought down within a few 
days, under circumstances which have not been told, but 
which were enough to win the Military Medal. By 
Easter his record was such that he was made flight com- 
mander and captain. He celebrated by attacking three 
German planes single-handed. Four others came to 
their rescue. He got two; then out of ammunition, he 
went home. This brought him the D. S. O. 

Bishop won the Victoria Cross in a sensational air 
battle. Here is the official account as given in The Post- 
Dispatch : 

"Captain Bishop flew first to an enemy airdrome. 
Finding no enemy machine about, he flew to another 
about three miles distant and about twelve miles within 
enemy lines. Seven machines, some with their engines 
running, were on the ground. He attacked these from a 
height of fifty feet, killing one of the mechanics. 

"One of the machines got off the ground, but Captain 
Bishop, at a height of sixty feet, fired fifteen rounds 
into it at close range. A second machine got off the 
ground, into which he fired thirty rounds at 150 yards. 
It fell into a tree. Two more machines rose from the air- 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 93 

drome, one of which he engaged at a height of 1,000 feet, 
sending it crashing to the ground. He then emptied a 
whole drum of cartridges into the fourth hostile machine 
and flew back to the station. 

"Four hostile scouts were 1,000 feet above him for a 
mile during his return journey, but they would not at- 
tack. His machine gun was badly shot about by machine 
gun fire from the ground." 

Apparently the official reporter was not interested in 
the Captain's condition. The damaged machine gun 
accounts for his strategic retreat, which satisfies official- 
dom. On Bishop's behalf, it should be remembered that 
an aviator lives very close to his machine gun during a 
fracas — if he lives. 

Anyhow, Bishop got the V. C. for this before-break- 
fast excursion. When he was given a furlough, a few 
weeks ago, it was suggested that he stop at Buckingham 
Palace on his way home. There a rather small man with 
a light beard and a crown pinned the three medals on the 
breast of the Canadian. 

Major Bishop himself is inclined to complain a little 
at the tools with which he has to work. His faith in 
incendiary bullets has been shattered, for instance. 

"You want to bring the Hun down in flames if you 
can," he explained. "That is the nicest way. But you 
can't be sure of doing that. I shot six incendiary bullets 
into one fellow's petrol tank one day, and the thing 
wouldn't blow up." 

Good shooting is what does the trick, he says, and 
plenty of it. 

"Don't trust to one bullet to kill a Hun. Get him in 
the head if you can, or at least in the upper part of the 



94 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

body. But get him several times — one bullet is never 
sure to kill one. Get hunks of them into him; into his 
head. That does it. The greatest thing to teach the 
new man is how to shoot." 

Sounds rather bloodthirsty, but this 100-pound fighter 
knows his enemy and of what he is capable. While 
Bishop finds bombing quite interesting, he prefers duel- 
ing, which he says is still seeking higher altitudes; in 
fact, when one is flying above 22,000 feet he is never 
sure that he will not be attacked from above. The unex- 
pected appeals to Bishop, who cites the following as an 
enj oyable occasion : 

"I was about 10,000 feet up, going through a cloud 
bank, without a thing in my mind but to get back six or 
seven miles behind the Hun lines and see what was going 
on, when I heard the rattle of machine guns. I looked 
back and there were three Huns coming straight for me. 
We all started firing at about 300 yards. I gave all I 
had to one fellow and he came to within about ten yards 
of me before swerving. He went by in flames. I 
turned on the second and he fell, landing only about 100 
yards from the first one, which shows how fast we were 
going. 

"I was excited, and the third machine escaped," he 
added apologetically. 

An attack, two duels, and two victories while the 
planes were traveling less than a quarter of a mile, at 
over 100 miles an hour ! Time, perhaps ten seconds. 

It was Bishop, according to reports, who invented the 
plan of diving down and shooting the Germans from be- 
hind during an attack. He did not discuss the origin of 
the idea, but denied that it did much damage. Oh, yes, 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 95 

an occasional machine gun nest, but, then, there are only 
a few men in these. The real effect was moral. It dis- 
tracts the Hun to be shot in the back. Also it greatly 
encourages the infantry who are charging. 

"They cheer like mad," he grinned. "They think we 
are killing thousands of Huns." 

Traditions gather thick around such a man. Tommy 
has no demigods in his religion, but he does the best he 
can with his heroes. So Tommy says that Bishop 
brought down nine machines in a two-hour fight one day. 
But Tommy's best story of him is given to illustrate the 
nerve which enj oys being called on to fight for life on a 
split second's notice. 

A Hun flier had used an incendiary bullet on Bishop's 
petrol tank that did work, Tommy reports. The battle 
had been at a low altitude, about two miles up. Bishop's 
plane flamed up, and he fell. He was on the point of 
jumping and had loosed the straps that held him into 
the fuselage. Airmen dislike being burned to death. 
But he decided to make a try for life at the risk of this, 
and after he had fallen 4,000 feet or so took the levers 
again and pulled up the nose of the plane, straightening 
her out. Of course, his engine was out, so he began to 
tail dive, and went a few more thousand feet that way. 
Then he succeeded in straightening her out once more, 
but side-slipped, and finally banked just as he struck. 
One wing of his flaming machine hit first and broke the 
fall. The loosened straps let him jump clear. He was 
just behind the British lines, and Tommy rushed up and 
gathered him in and extinguished the fire in his blazing 
clothing. 

He was not hurt. 



THE WATCH-DOGS OF THE TRENCHES 

THERE are stories a-plenty of the dash and fire of 
youth in the trenches. But by no means are all the 
men young who are battling on the front in France. 
There are the territorials, the line defenders, the men of 
the provinces, with wives and children at home. 

"They are wonderful, these older fellows," said an 
officer enthusiastically, after a visit to the trenches. 
"They ought to be decorated — every one of them !" 

It is of these watch-dogs of the trenches that Rene 
Bazin has written in Lisez-Moi, and the article, trans- 
lated by Mary L. Stevenson, is printed in the Chicago 
Tribune. Mr. Bazin says: 

I am proud of the young fighters, but those I am 
proudest of are the older ones. These have passed the 
age when the hot blood coursing through their veins 
drives them to adventure; they are leaving behind wife, 
children, present responsibilities, and future plans — 
those things hardest to cast off. Leaving all this, as they 
have done, without a moment's hesitation, is proof 
enough of their courage. And from the beginning of the 
war to the present time I have never talked to a solitary 
commanding officer that he has not eulogized his terri- 
torials. 

They are essentially trench defenders, lookout men. 
The young ones do the coursing. These attack, the 
others guard. But how they do guard, how they hold the 
ground, once won ! N earing the front, if you meet them 






STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 97 

on the march as they are about to be relieved, you can 
recognize them even from afar by two signs : they march 
without any military coquetry, even dragging their feet 
a little, and they have everything with them that they 
can possibly carry — sacks, blankets, cans, bagpipes, 
cartridge-boxes, with the neck of a bottle sticking out 
of their trousers pocket. Even when you get near enough 
to see their faces many of these men do not look at you ; 
they are intent upon their own thoughts. They know 
the hard week ahead of them. But the wind and rain 
are already old friends ; the mud of the trenches does not 
frighten them ; patience has long been their lot ; they ac- 
cept death's lottery, knowing well that they are protect- 
ing those they have left behind, and they go at it as to a 
great task whose harvest may not be reaped or even 
known until months later. 

In truth, these men from the provinces — vine-growers, 
teamsters, little peasant farmers, the most numerous of 
all among today's combatants — will have played a mag- 
nificent role in the Great War. History will have to pro- 
claim this, in justice to the French villages, and may the 
Government see fit to honor and aid these silent heroes 
who will have done so much to save the country. 

They disappear quickly, lost in the defiles or swal- 
lowed up by the mist, which night has thickened. Once 
in the trenches, they find the work begun the previous 
week and which has been carried on by their comrades' 
hands, and when it comes their turn to guard the battle- 
ments they hide themselves in the same holes in the clay 
wall. No unnecessary movements, no flurry, no brava- 
dos, no setting off of flashes or grenade and bomb-throw- 
ing, by which the younger troops immediately show their 



98 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

presence in the trenches, and which only provokes a 
reply from the enemy. 

They are holding fast, but they keep still about it. 
Suddenly the Boches are coming. There are some splen- 
did sharpshooters in this regiment, and in the attack of 
the Seventh and in the surprise attempt of the Four- 
teenth at daybreak it was seen what these men could do. 
An officer said to me: "They suffer the least loss; they 
excel in shelters of earthwork, they merge right into the 
turf." 

Many of the sectors of the front are held by this 
guard of older men. When the German reserves were 
hurled in pursuit of the Belgian Army in 1914, threat- 
ening the shores of Pas de Calais, a territorial division 
checked the onslaught of the best troops of the German 
Empire. Of their work in the trenches, Mr. Bazin 
writes : 

But do not let anyone think theirs is a life of inaction ; 
work is not lacking; even night is a time of reports, of 
revictualing, of reconnoitering, or repairing barbed-wire 
entanglements. 

When the sector is quiet, however, the territorial en- 
joys some free hours. He writes a great deal; makes 
up for all the time past when he wrote almost no letters 
at all and for all the time to come when he promises 
himself to leave the pen hidden on the groove of the 
ink-well, idle on the mantel. One of them said to me: 
"They have put up a letter-box in my village. What 
will it be good for after the war — a swallow's nest?" 

Many of these letters contain only a recital of un- 
eventful days and the prescribed formalities of friend- 
ship or love, banal to the general public but dear enough 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 99 

to those who are waiting and who will sit around the 
lamp of an evening and comment on every word. I 
know young women throughout the country who receive 
a letter from their husbands every day. The war has 
served as a school for adults. Sometimes expediency 
entirely disappears and it is the race which speaks, and 
the hidden faith, and the soul which perhaps has never 
thus been laid bare. 

Here is a letter which has been brought to my notice. 
For a year it had been carried in the pocket of a terri- 
torial who wrote it as his last will and testament, and 
when he was killed it was sent to his widow. Read it 
and see if you would not like to have had him who wrote 
it as a friend and neighbor : 

"My dear, today, as I am writing these lines, my heart 
feels very big, and if you ever read them it will be because 
I died doing my duty. I ask you, before I go, to bring up 
our children in honor and in memory of me, for I have 
loved them very dearly, and I shall have died thinking of 
them and of you. Tell them I died on the field of honor, 
and that I ask them to offer the same sacrifice the day 
France shall need their arms and hearts. Preserve my 
certificate of good conduct, and later make them know 
that their father would like to have lived for them and 
for you, whom I have always held so dear. Now, I do 
not want you to pass the rest of your life worshiping one 
dead. On the contrary, if during your life you meet 
some good, industrious young fellow capable of giving 
you loyal aid in rearing our children, join your life with 
his and never speak to him of me, for if he loves you it 
would only cast the shadow of a dead man upon him— 
it is over, my dear. I love you now and forever, even 



100 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

through eternity. Good-bye! I shall await you over 
there. Your adoring Jean." 

As showing the dogged, determined character of these 
men, Mr. Bazin relates the following incident: 

Lately, when both wind and rain were raging, an 
officer told me of going up to two lookout men, immov- 
able at their posts in the first line trench, and joking 
with them, he said : 

"Let's see, what do you need?" 

"Less mud." 

"I am in the same boat. What else?" 

"This and that — " 

"You shall have it, I promise you. Tired?" 

"A little." 

"Discouraged?" 

They made a terrible face, looked at him, and together 
replied: "If you have come to say such things as that, 
sir, you better not have come at all. Discouraged? No, 
indeed ! We're not the kind who get discouraged !" 



ALL IN THE SAME COUNTRY 

The German officer who confiscated a map of Crip- 
ple Creek belonging to an American traveler, and re- 
marked that "the German Army might get there some 
time," should be classed with the London banker who 
sasid to a solicitous mother seeking to send cash to 
San Antonio, Texas, for her wandering son: "We 
haven't any correspondent in San Antonio, but 111 give 
you a draft on New York, and he can ride in and cash 
it any fine afternoon." 



GENERAL BELL REDEEMS HIS PROMISE 

THE youngsters at Camp Upton looked with admir- 
ing and envious eyes at the ribbons pinned on the 
left breast of the man who entered headquarters. Then 
they looked up at the face of the wearer of these em- 
blems of service in the Indian Wars, Cuba, and the 
Philippines, and they saw a sturdy campaigner of field 
and desert, his face bronzed by many scorching suns. 
On the left sleeve of his coat were the three bars of a 
sergeant with the emblem of the supply department in 
the inverted V. 

This ghost of the old Army seemed to feel a little out 
of place for a moment, and then he turned to Sergeant 
Dunbaugh and said: 

"I'd like to see the General, if you please." 

"Have you an appointment?" asked Dunbaugh a bit 
hesitatingly. 

"Well, no, but the General told me to come back, so I 

am here." 

As the General was then out in the camp Sergeant 
Dunbaugh suggested that the old soldier tell him just 
what he wanted to see him about, and, says the New 
York Sun: 

So the story of Sergeant Busick was told — the story 
of a once trim young trooper and a once dashing lieuten- 
ant of the Seventh Cavalry, immortalized by Custer and 
honored by a whole army. 

Twenty years ago Edward Busick was assigned as a 
101 



102 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

private to G Troop of the Seventh, stationed at Fort 
Apache, Arizona. At that time G was officially lacking 
u captain, so a certain young lieutenant was acting com- 
mander, and for his orderly he chose one Trooper 
Busick. 

One evening, a year later, the lieutenant received sud- 
den orders to report immediately to a staff post. All 
that night his orderly worked with him packing his 
personal belongings and helping him get ready for an 
early-morning start. It was a long job, and a hard one, 
but the orderly didn't mind the work in the least; all he 
cared about was the loss of his troop commander. 

"Don't suppose I'll ever see you again, Busick, but if 
I do, and there's anything I can do for you, I'll be glad 
to do it," the lieutenant told him when the job was 
finished and the last box had been nailed down. 

It wasn't very much for a lieutenant to say to his 
orderly, but it meant a great deal to this trim young 
trooper. Somehow, in the old Army, orderlies get to 
thinking a great deal of their officers and Busick hap- 
pened to be just that particular kind. He had an espe- 
cially good memory, too. 

The whirligig of fate that seems to have so much to 
do with Army affairs sent the lieutenant to the Philip- 
pines, where, as colonel of the suicide regiment, he won 
everlasting honor for his regiment and a Congressional 
medal for valor for himself. Then on up he jumped 
until his shoulder-straps bore the single star of a briga- 
dier. Then another star was added, and he became chief 
of staff and ranking officer in the whole Army. 

And all the while the whirligig that looks after en- 
listed men saw to it that Trooper Busick added other 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 103 

colored bars to his service ribbons. And slowly he 
added pounds to his slim girth and a wife and children 
to his fireside. But as a heavy girth and a family aren't 
exactly synonymous with dashing cavalrymen, Sergeant 
Busick saw to it that he was transferred from the roving 
cavalry to the stationary Coast Artillery. And through 
all the years he remembered the lieutenant and his 
promise that if he ever wanted anything he would try 
to get it for him. 

One month ago Sergeant Busick got a furlough from 
his Coast Artillery company at Fort McKinley, Port- 
land, Me., and bought a ticket to Camp Upton, New 
York. There were only a few men here then, so he 
didn't have any great difficulty in seeing his old first 
lieutenant. 

For half a minute or so General Bell, commanding 
officer of the Seventy-seventh Division of the National 
Army and one-time first lieutenant of the Seventh Cav- 
alry, didn't recognize his old orderly — but it was for 
only half a minute. 

"You'll sleep in our quarters with us tonight," Gen- 
eral Bell ordered. "Tomorrow we'll see about that old 
promise." 

So that night Sergeant Busick had the room between 
Major-General Bell's and Brigadier-General Read's. 
But sleeping next to generals was pretty strong for an 
ordinary sergeant and he didn't accept General Bell's 
invitation to have mess with him. 

And a little later Busick told his old commander that 
the big request that he had come across the continent to 
make was that he be transferred to the Seventy-seventh 
division and allowed to serve under the General. But 



104 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

army tape is still long and red, so all that the General 
could do was to send the sergeant back to his post and 
promise that he would do all that he could. This, it 
proved, was sufficient. 

For Sergeant Edward Busick, smiling and happy 
with his reassignment papers safely tucked away in the 
pocket of his blouse under his half a foot of service 
ribbons, came back to report for duty. It took twenty 
years to do — but he's done it. 

And the National Army of Freedom hasn't any idea 
as yet how much richer in real soldier talent and color 
it is today. But a certain old campaigner, who used to 
be a first lieutenant of cavalry, knows. 



NO GREAT LOSS 

An American stopping at a London hotel rang sev- 
eral times for attendance, but no one answered. He 
started for the office in an angry mood, which was not 
improved when he found that the "lift" was not run- 
ning. Descending two flights of stairs, he met one of 
the chambermaids. 

"What's the matter with this dashed hotel?" ht 
growled. "No one to answer your call and no elevator 
running." 

"Well, you see, sir," said the maid, "the Zeps were 
reported and we were all ordered to the cellar for 
safety." 

" !" ejaculated the American. "I was on the 

fifth floor and I wasn't warned." 

"No, sir," was the bland reply, "but you see, sir, 
you don't come under the Employers' Liability Act, sir." 



LETTERS FROM THE FRONT 

4 * T AST evening we went out into a field, and read 

1 ^ Jane Austen's 'Emma' out loud." 

Do you get the picture? Can you see the fading 
glory of the sunset sky, and hear the soft breeze, sweetly 
laden with the scent of new-mown hay, as it murmurs 
through the gently rustling leaves — a real autumn scene 
of rural peace and quiet? 

Yes? Well, you are quite mistaken. That is an 
extract from a letter written by an ambulance driver on 
the French front. And so you see that war is not all 
horror. 

Emerson Low, the son of Alfred M. Low, of Detroit, 
went to France with a group of college boys. He joined 
the American Field Ambulance Service, and is now in the 
thick of the fighting in the Champagne district. The 
Detroit Free Press prints some extracts from his letters 
to his family. In one he tells of his trip to the posts : 

Day before yesterday several of us started out for the 
posts. I carried the medecin divisionnaire and went a 
little before the others. In spite of the fact that the 
fields are being recultivated and the searness of former 
battles is somewhat concealed, the road to the front is 
rather a grim affair, and you are startled when you pass 
through a town deserted and demolished. There is 
quite a large town between this one and the front. It is 
uninhabited except for a few soldiers and a yellow dog 
that slinks about in the doorways. 

I left the medecin divisionnaire at his abri, a little 
105 



106 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

further along the road, a road hidden completely by 
strips of burlap tied to poles. The first post is in a 
little wood. There were two of us there, and we tossed 
a coin to see who would take the first call. I won and 
waited for an ambulance to come in from one of our three 
posts. These posts are along the front of the hill where 
the battle is taking place. They are all reached by 
going through and then beyond X (you remember the 
little destroyed town with the church which I spoke of 
during our first month). The first post was a smaller 
town than X, and is now razed completely to the ground. 
The second is about one-fourth of a mile to the right and 
the third — which can only be reached during the night 
and left before dawn — is a German abri, formerly a dug- 
out of German officers. The German saucises are 
directly above the road, and any machine would be 
shelled in the daytime. The posts are close together and 
are reached by exposed roads. 

My call came about noon. I was given an orderly, 
and left for the first post. From the road we could see 
the shells breaking on the hill and in the fields about, 
where the French batteries were hidden. We reached 
the post, backed the machine into a wide trench, which 
hid it from view, and then went into the dugout. It was 
a new iron dugout, about 30 feet long and 10 or 12 feet 
broad, with bunks on either side. On top were heaped 
bags of sand and dirt. 

We read until about two o'clock, when several shells 
fell in the battery field a few meters behind us. Then a 
few shells fell in a field to the right, and in another 
moment we were in the midst of a bombardment. It 
lasted all afternoon. Two men trying to enter the dug- 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 107 

out were hit, one in the throat and the other in the 
shoulder, but not badly. About six o'clock it grew so 
bad and so many shells fell on the roof of the dugout 
that we had to leave, cross through some trenches — a 
strange-looking procession, crouching and running along 
— and get into a deep cave about twenty feet under the 
ground, where we stayed until eight o'clock in the even- 
ing. Then the firing became intermittent, the shells hit 
further to the right and left, and we ran back into the 
dugout. 

It was still light and an airplane soared above us, the 
noise of which is to me, for an unaccountable reason, one 
of the most reassuring sounds I have ever heard. 

Quite jocularly he writes of supper, first having 
looked at his car which he found uninjured, although 
covered with dirt from exploding shells. Continuing, he 
says: 

There were about eight of us, the orderly and myself, 
the lieutenant-doctor in charge, and three or four old 
brancardiers, who, when they ate their soup made more 
noise than the shells. After every few spoonfuls, to 
avoid waste, they poked their mustaches in their mouths 
and sucked them loudly. 

During the evening the firing became steady on both 
sides, the French battery pouring their shells, which 
whistled over our dugout. We went to bed, secure in 
this iron cylinder, whose great ribs stood like the flesh- 
less carcass of a beast, which to destroy would be a 
worthless task. A stump of a candle lay wrapped in 
our blankets in the bunks. It was rather comfortable, 
except that my bed was crossed at the top by a piece of 
iron just where my head lay. 



108 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

All through the night there was a continuous commo- 
tion in the dugout, the brancardiers running around and 
talking in loud voices about things we were too sleepy 
to understand. We had no blesses during the night (an 
exceptional thing — this morning they had fifty from one 
post) and were relieved about half-past ten the next 
morning. I returned to the large town, where our can- 
tonment had been changed to another quarter of the 
village. 

This is an exceptionally fine cantonment and was re- 
cently occupied by the British Ambulance, whose place 
we have taken. I think it was originally an officers' 
barracks. Two low cement buildings, faced with red 
brick and roofed with red tile, stand on one side, and 
opposite these are the stables, used by the "Genies." 
In front of the houses are some trees and grass. Each 
house (one story in height) is divided into four parts, 
accessible by four doors. 

Jim, Rogers, and I have one room to ourselves off the 
third hallway and in front. There are three other rooms 
accessible by the same hallway. It is almost like a 
separate house, as each division has its flight of steps 
before the door and there is a main sidewalk running 
under all the front windows. We have our three 
stretchers on the floor, two cupboards, a broken mirror, 
and two camp-stools. We keep our trunks, etc., right in 
the room and it saves transferring them every trip to the 
posts. There is a large French window with blue shut- 
ters. We certainly are comfortably located. There are 
no showers after all (we had expected two), except one 
that is broken, and we wash from our bidons (canteens) 
with a sponge, which is almost as good. 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 109 

Jim and Rogers came back yesterday shortly before I 
did. They had both been to the same post, the second 
one, and been caught in a gas-attack which lasted for an 
hour. They sat in the abri with their masks on (the 
masks are a greenish color, with two big round windows 
for the eyes) and, of course, with the helmets, the abri 
was crowded, and from their description they must have 
looked like so many big beetles crouching together. 
There is absolutely no danger with the masks, however, 
and we carry one always with us (even in town) and 
one fastened in the car. 

Last evening we went out into a field and read Jane 
Austen's "Emma" out loud. Jim and Rog left this 
morning for the posts and I go tomorrow. 

Of the routine work of the ambulance driver he 
writes : 

On account of the night driving we have lately put 
two men on each car, a driver and an orderly who just 
goes back and forth between the posts. Five cars are 
out every day and eight drivers. Three cars begin at 
the posts and two wait in the woods. As a car comes in 
from a post, another is sent out from the woods and 
this driver takes with him the orderly who has just 
come in, as only one man is necessary to make the trip 
from the woods to the hospital. From the hospital the 
latter returns to the woods, and thus a relay is formed. 
The day before yesterday I was at post 1 ; yesterday 
(beginning at noon), I was en repos for the day; today 
I am en r emplacement, that is practically the same as 
repose, but if any extra cars are wanted in case of an 
attack, etc., we have to be within call. I am fourth in 
the list and don't expect to go out. Tomorrow I go in 



110 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

my own car, next day repose, next day as orderly to post 
3, next day repose, etc. The work is as interesting as 
ever. 

In another letter which The Free Press prints Mr. 
Low tells of a battle between airplanes directly over his 
head. The engagement ended with the winging of both 
machines. The letter reads : 

The German machine fell between the lines, the 
French plane near one of our posts. There was a terrific 
fight, which we could hardly see, as it was very high in 
the air. The French plane caught on fire and began 
to fall. After some meters it was entirely enveloped in 
smoke and the three aviators had to jump, which was a 
quicker death. When they were found, parts of their 
bodies had been burned away. 

Just before this the first German shell fell in our 
cantonment. It was about half-past seven in the morn- 
ing and we were all asleep when we heard the rush and 
explosion of an obus. It struck about two meters from 
the barracks and made a large hole in the road. Three 
shells usually fall in one place, but no other followed. 

For a day of repose it certainly was disturbing. 

Yesterday I had a hot shower at the hospital near 
here. It certainly seemed good, after bathing for two 
months out of a small reserve water can. 

This morning we are at the second post. Before the 
war there were really enough houses to call it a small 
town, but it has been so completely destroyed that only 
stumps of the buildings remain. Batteries have been 
planted all about it, and at present they are receiving a 
heavy shelling from the Germans. 

Mr. Low seems to possess an excellent nervous organ- 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 111 

ization and a dependable imagination which he finds 
quite useful. He says : 

We are kept in the dugout, which, provided with 
chairs and a table, is very comfortable. It is rather 
pleasant to be securely seated here with books and 
listening to the "rush" of the shells overhead. It is like 
being before a grate fire and listening to a winter's storm 
outside. As long as no blesses are brought in we can 
sit here and warm our feet until the storm is over. Our 
beds are all made on the stretchers (placed high enough 
to keep out the rats), and we intend to spend a pleasant 
afternoon reading. I have Rog's Shakespeare, and I am 
reading "Cymbeline. ,, 

We have just had lunch — hot meat, lentils, camem- 
bert, and the inevitable Pinard. The bombardment has 
nearly died away, so we can sit out a while and enjoy 
a very delightful August day. This post is reached by 
an old Roman road, which is rather badly torn up. 
They have just put up a screen of burlap to conceal it 
from the saucisses; that is, to hide the traffic on it, for 
the German gunners know where every road lies. 

(Later) A young fellow of about nineteen was just 
carried in. He was at the battery post a few meters 
behind us and became half-crazed by the shells during 
the bombardment. It is quite a common occurrence, 
especially with the men in the trenches. The French 
call it commotion, and the mind becomes so stunned that 
often they lose their speech or become totally stupid. 
The lieutenant said that this was a bad case and that 
if another shell fell near the man he would go mad. He 
asked us to take the fellow back to the hospital as soon as 
possible, and I had to ride in the back of the ambulance 



112 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

with him all the way to keep him quiet. Fortunately no 
shells came near the car. 

After supper we sat near the edge of the road and 
watched two or three battalions pass by on their way 
to the trenches. The road filled with carts and supply 
wagons as soon as the saucisses descended. These 
vehicles travel between towns in the rear to a communi- 
cation trench a little beyond our post, a point which is a 
terminus for all traffic. From there the ammunition and 
supplies are carried to the trenches by hand. 

There is a little railroad running from that point, 
beyond our post; horses pulling small flat cars loaded 
with wood, barbed wire, etc., for the trenches. A young 
poilu, standing up and waving his arms, came spinning 
down the hill in an empty car. He nearly caused a 
collision and I never saw a man so yelled and screamed 
at as this one was by his sergeant. The officer scolded 
him for a quarter of an hour and shouted himself hoarse : 
"Quelle bethel" 

About nine we went down into the abri, lighted a 
candle on the table, and read until about ten, when a man 
burst through the door, shouting: 

"Gaz! Gaz! M. Medecin!" and dashed out again. 
The medecin went outside, and, returning, told us to 
have our masks ready, that gas was coming over the hill 
and blowing in our direction. We waited about ten 
minutes and heard the alarm bell ring — a signal to warn 
that a gas attack is near. We sat waiting with our 
masks at our elbows, but the wind carried the gas in 
another direction and we did not have to use them. 

These attacks are frequent, but not dangerous; as at 
every hour of the day a man stands in the first line 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 113 

trench (with a bell at his side) to give warning of gas. 
The masks that we always carry at our belts are posi- 
tive guards against any sort of gas. 

We read until twelve and then went to bed, lucky in 
having only one trip through the day. 



HELPING HIS WIFE OUT 

An officer was surprised one day when searching the 
letters of his detachment to read in one of them a pas- 
sage that was something like this : 

"We have just got out of shell-fire for the first time 
for two months. It has been a hard time. The Ger- 
mans were determined to take our field bakery, but, by 
gee ! we would not let them. We killed them in thou- 
sands." 

This was a letter from one of the bakers to his wife. 
None of the detachment had been a mile from the 
base, and they had never seen a German, except as a 
prisoner. My friend knew the writer well, and could 
not help (although it was none of his business) asking 
him why he told such terrible lies to his poor wife. The 
soldier said: 

"It's quite true what you say, but it's like this, sir. 
When my wife and the wives of the other men in the 
place where I live are talking it all over in the morning 
I couldn't think to let her have nothing to say and the 
others all bragging about what their men had done with 
the Germans. That's the way of it, sir." 



MEET TOMMY, D. G. MEDAL MAN 

T F WAR is not a great leveler — and we have been told 
•** numberless times that it is — it is certainly the Great 
American Mixer, and Camp Upton, L. I., is probably the 
best example extant thereof, so to speak. The Bowery 
boy and the millionaire rub elbows — you have probably 
heard that before, but it is nevertheless true — and the 
owners of Long Island show places sleep in cots next 
to their former gardeners. But probably the most inter- 
esting character at Camp Upton is the barber who was 
at one time a sergeant in the British Flying Corps, and 
wears the King's Distinguished Conduct Medal — that 
is, he probably would wear it if he hadn't left it at 
" 'ome in a box." The New York Sun says : 

Down on the muster pay roll the D. C. medal man is 
Harry Booton, but over in the 304th Field Artillery's 
headquarters company barracks they call him Ben 
Welch, the Jewish comedian. But for all that his real 
name is Ortheris, who even Kipling himself thought had 
lain dead these twenty years and more in the hill country 
of India. And for the brand of service for his reincar- 
nation he has chosen the artillery — the bloomin', bloody 
artillery that he used to hate so much when he and Mul- 
vaney were wearing the infantry uniform of the little old 
Widow of Windsor. 

London cockney he was then, a quarter of a century 
ago, and London cockney he is today. And if there be 
some who say his name is not really Ortheris, let it be 
114 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 115 

stated that names are of small moment after all. It's 
the heart that counts — and the heart of this under-sized 
little Jewish cockney is the heart of Kipling's hero — and 
the soul is his and the tale is his. And instead of telling 
his yarn to Mulvaney he now tells it to an Italian barber 
they call Eddie rather than his own gentle name of 
Gasualdi. 

From Headquarters Hill, where the Old Man With the 
Two Stars looks out and down on his great melting-pot 
that's cooking up this stirring army of freedom, you 
walk a half mile or so west until you stumble on Rookie 
Roose J 18, where the headquarters company and the 
band of the 304th Field Artillery play and sing and 
sleep and work. In one corner of the low, black-walled 
washroom nestling next the big pine barracks, Eddie 
the Barber lathers, shaves, and clips hair for I. O. U.'s 
when he isn't busy soldiering. And into Eddie's ears 
come stories of girls back home and yarns of mighty 
drinking bouts of other days, and even tales of strange 
lands and wars and cabbages and kings. Eddie is the 
confidant of headquarters company. 

If you stand around on one foot and then another long 
enough, and add a bit now and then to the gaiety of the 
nations represented in Eddie's home concocted tonsorial 
parlor you'll hear some of these wild yarns pass uninter- 
rupted from the right to the left ear of Eddie. And if 
you're lucky you may even hear the tale of the D. C. 
medal — and the five wounds, and the torpedoed bark, 
and the time the King's hand was kissed, and all from 
the lips of Ortheris, alias Harry C. Booton, alias Ben 
Welch. 

And so, if you will kindly make way for the hero, 



116 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

whose medal is "at ome in me box/' — but who did not 
forget to bring his cockney accent along, to which he has 
added a dash of the Bowery — you may listen to the tale 
that was told to the Sun man : 

"I was boined down in Whitechapel, Lunnon, and me 
ole man died seventeen years ago in the Boer War/' the 
tongue of Harry began his tale: " 'E was a soger under 
'Mackey' McKenzie, and 'e was kilt over in Sout Af ricey. 
Well, when Hingland goes into this war I says to meself 
I'll join out to an' do me bit, an' so I done wit' the Lun- 
non Fusileers, and after two or three months trainin' we 
was sint to Anthwerp, but we didn't stop there very long. 

"Then we fights in the battle of Mons and Lille — I 
don't know how you spells that Lille, but I think it's 
4 L-i-l' — or somethin' loik that. Well, in the battle of 
Mons I gets blowed up. Funny about that. You see, a 
Jack Johnson comes along and buries me, all except me 
bloomin' feet, and then I gets plugged through both legs 
with a rifle bullet and I'm in the hospital for a month. 
When I gets out I'm transferred to the Royal Flying 
Corps and I goes to the Hendon or sumthin' loike that 
aereodrome up Mill Hill way, fur trainin'. You see, I 
was a stige electrician in the Yiddish teaters on the Edg- 
ware road, and knowin' things like that I was mide a 
helper and learnt all about flying machines." 

The b-r-r-r-r-r of an airplane — the first one to fly over 
the camp — caused Henry's ear to cock for a second and 
then a smile to pop out of his face. 

" 'Ere's one of the bloomin' things now," he went on. 
"Well, I was made a sergeant an' arfter a bad bomin' of 
Lunnon by the Fritzes six of us machines was sent to 
pay compliments to the Germans. 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 117 

"It was dark and cold and nasty when we started out 
to attack Frederickshaven and give 'em some of their 
own medicine. 

"Three hundred miles we flies an' I'd dropped eight- 
een of my nineteen bums — you see I was riding with 
Sergeant-Major Flemming — when they opens up on us 
with their antiguns and five of us flops down, blazin' 
and tumblin'. Then somethin' hits me back and some- 
thin' else stings me arm and then I felt her wabble and 
flop. I glances behind and my sergeant is half fallin' 
out and just as he tumbled I mikes a grab for 'im. 'E 
was right behint me and so as to right the machine I 
grips him with me teeth in his leather breetches and 
then I throws 'im back and swings into his seat and 
tramps on the pedal for rising. Up we goes to 9,000 
feet, but it was too bloomin' cold up there, so I come 
down some and points back for Hingland. 

"The sergeant 'e were there with me, and I was glad 
efen if 'e had been kilt dead. You wouldn't want 'im 
back there with them Booches — 'im my pal and my 
sergeant. I wasn't going to let the Booches have 'im. 

"More'n 300 miles I had to fly — 6 degrees it were— 
when I caught Queensborough, and then I come down. 
Funny about that — just as soon as I 'it the ground I 
fainted loike a bloomin' lidy. 

"An' I was up in a Hinglish 'ospital in Lunnon when 
I come to a couple of d'ys after. An' I wykes a bloomin' 
'ero, and the King 'e sends for me an' some other 'eroes, 
and we all goes to Buckingham Palace, and 'is Majesty 
the King and Queen Mary and a 'ole bloomin' mess of 
them bloomin' dooks and lydies comes and the King pins 
the medal on me. Me a 'ero with a D. C. medal. And 



118 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

now I'm warin' this bloomin' kiki-ki and hopin' to get 
another crack at Kaiser Bill and Fritz the sauerkraut." 

The 'ero was finally invalided out of service and 
ordered to the munitions factories in northern England. 
Having no inclination for this work, he stowed away on 
the Swedish bark Arendale, which was torpedoed when 
fifteen days out from London. He was picked up by the 
Dutch steamship Leander and finally landed in New 
Orleans. The Sun continues : 

Then Harry came to New York a little over a year 
ago and made his abode at 157 Rivington street. By 
day he worked in a A-Z Motion Picture Supply Com- 
pany, 72 Hester street, and by night he told brave tales 
of war and sang snatches of opera that he had learned 
behind the scenes in London. 

Then came America's entrance into the Great War 
and the selective service examination. At Board 109 
Harry demanded that although he was a British sub- 
j ect he be allowed to go. And after considerable scratch- 
ing of heads the members of Board 109 decided to ship 
Harry to Camp Upton with the first increment on Sep- 
tember 10, and what was more, to make him the squad 
leader on the trip. 

"Salute me, ya bloomin' woodchopper," Harry, ex- 
Tommy Atkins, shouted in derision at some lowly pri- 
vate who ventured to try a light remark. "Hain't I 
yer superior? Hain't I actin' corporal? Hain't I goin' 
to be a sergeant-major? Awsk me — hain't I?" 

And the answer was decidedly and emphatically yes. 
And power to ye, Harry Booton — medal or no medal. 



GERMAN FALCON KILLED IN AIR-DUEL 

THE old days when armies ceased fighting to watch 
their two champions in single combat have come 
back again. It was on the Western front, and the en- 
gagement that resulted in the death of Immelman the 
Falcon, Germany's most distinguished Ace, was in very 
truth a duel — no chance meeting of men determined to 
slay one another, but a formally arranged encounter, 
following a regular challenge, and fought by prear- 
rangement and without interference. The battle was 
witnessed with breathless interest by the men of both 
armies crouched in the trenches, separated by only a 
few feet of No Man's Land, while the fire of the anti- 
aircraft guns on both sides was stilled. 

The victor in the spectacular fight was Captain Ball, 
the youthful English pilot who has only two notches less 
en the frame of his fighting machine than had the Falcon, 
who was credited with fifty-one "downs." The story of 
the duel, which was declared to have been one of the 
most sensational events of the war, is told in a letter 
written by Col. William Macklin, of the Canadian 
troops, to a friend in Newark, N. J. Colonel Macklin, 
who was one of the eye-witnesses of the fight, writes in 
his letter, which is printed in the New York Tribune: 

One morning Captain Ball, who was behind our sector, 
heard that Immelman the Falcon was opposite. 

"This is the chance I've been waiting for; I'm going 
to get him/' declared Ball. 

119 



120 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

Friends tried to dissuade him, saying the story of 
Immelman's presence probably was untrue. Ball would 
not listen. 

Getting into his machine, he flew over the German 
lines and dropped a note which read : 

"Captain Immelman: I challenge you to a man-to- 
man fight, to take place this afternoon at two o'clock. 
I will meet you over the German lines. Have your anti- 
aircraft guns withhold their fire while we decide which 
is the better man. The British guns will be silent. 

"Ball." 

About an hour afterward, a German aviator swung out 
across our lines. Immelman's answer came. Translated 
it read : 

"Captain Ball: Your challenge is accepted. The 
German guns will not interfere. I will meet you promptly 
at two. "Immelman." 

Just a few minutes before two o'clock the guns on 
both sides ceased firing. It was as though the command- 
ing officers had ordered a truce. Long rows of heads 
popped up and all eyes watched Ball from behind the 
British lines shoot off and into the air. A minute or two 
later Immelman's machine was seen across No Man's 
Land. 

The letter describes the tail of the German machine 
as painted red "to represent the British and French 
blood it had spilled," while Ball's had a streak of black 
paint to represent the mourning for his victims. The 
machines ascended in a wide circle, and then : 

From our trenches there were wild cheers for Ball. 
The Germans yelled just as vigorously for Immelman. 

The cheers from the trenches continued. The Ger- 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 121 

mans' increased in volume ; ours changed into cries of 
alarm. 

Ball, thousands of feet above us and only a speck in 
the sky, was doing the craziest things imaginable. He 
was below Immelman and was, apparently, making no 
effort to get above him, thus gaining the advantage of 
position. Rather he was swinging around, this way and 
that, attempting, it seemed, to postpone the inevitable. 

We saw the German's machine dip over preparatory 
to starting the nose dive. 

"He's gone now," sobbed a young soldier at my side, 
for he knew Immelman's gun would start its raking fire 
once it was being driven straight down. 

Then, in the fraction of a second, the tables were 
turned. Before Immelman's plane could get into firing 
position, Ball drove his machine into a loop, getting 
above his adversary and cutting loose with his gun and 
smashing Immelman by a hail of bullets as he swept by. 

Immelman's airplane burst into flames and dropped. 
Ball, from above, followed for a few hundred feet and 
then straightened out and raced for home. He settled 
down, rose again, hurried back, and released a huge 
wreath of flowers almost directly over the spot where 
Immelman's charred body was being lifted from a 
tangled mass of metal. 

Four days later Ball, too, was killed. He attacked 
single-handed four Germans. He had shot one down 
and was pursuing the other three when two machines 
dropped from behind the clouds and closed in on him. 
He was pocketed and was killed — but not until he had 
shot down two more of the enemy. 



HE TAUGHT THE "TANK" TO PROWL 
AND SLAY 

ALONG with many other things with finer names, for 
which credit is due him, Col. E. D. Swinton, of the 
British Royal Engineers, will go down in history as the 
father of the tank, that modern war monster and engine 
of destruction which made its professional debut on the 
Somme battlefield and which did such effective work in 
French and British drives. 

Colonel Swinton is a pleasant, mild-mannered gentle- 
man, the last person in the world one would expect to 
bear any relationship to the tank. In fact, the virtue of 
modesty in him is so well developed that he refuses to 
accept all the glory, and insists upon sharing the 
parental honors with an American, Benjamin Holt, in- 
ventor of the tractor. 

"I don't mean that the Holt tractor is the tank by 
any means," he says, "but without the Holt tractor there 
very probably would not have been any tank." 

Arthur D. Howden Smith, writing in the New York 
Evening Post, declares : 

It is practically impossible to get Colonel Swinton to 
admit outright that he is the parent of the tank; yet 
father it he did, and he was also the first captain of the 
tanks in the British Army ; he organized the tank unit in 
France, and he launched the loathly brood of his off- 
spring in their initial victory on the Somme battlefield. 
If any man knows the tank, he does, for he created it and 
tamed it and taught it how to prowl and slay. 

122 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 123 

Colonel Swinton began to think about tanks several 
years before Austria sent her ultimatum to Servia, but 
he is scrupulously careful to say that many men were 
thinking more or less vaguely along the same lines at 
the same time. Indeed, the proposal of the tank as an 
engine for neutralizing the effect of machine gun fire 
was actually made by two sets of men, one to the War 
Office and one to the Admiralty, and neither group was 
aware that the other was working along the same lines. 
Still, we may believe unprejudiced testimony which gives 
to Colonel Swinton the principal credit for convincing 
the higher authorities in London that mobile land-forts 
were practicable. 

"In July, 1914, I heard that Mr. Benjamin Holt, of 
Peoria, 111., had invented a tractor which possessed the 
ability to make its way across rugged and uneven 
ground," he stated. "But several years before that a 
plan for a military engine practically identical with the 
tank had been sketched upon paper, when a tractor of 
another make was tried out in England. That first plan 
came to nothing. We weren't ready for it then. 

"The reports of the Holt tractor served to stimulate 
my interest in the idea all over again, and when I went 
to France with Lord French in August, 1914, and saw 
what modern warfare was like, I became convinced that 
an armored car, capable of being independent of roads 
and of traversing any terrane to attack fortified posi- 
tions, was a necessity for the offensive." 

The Colonel, with a quizzical smile, here called atten- 
tion to the fact that the principal German weapon of 
slaughter was the invention of an American — Hiram 
Maxim — and he thought it quite fitting that the weapon 



124 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

to combat it should be credited, at least in part, to the 
American inventor of the tractor. Continuing, he said : 

"By October, 1914, 1 had a fair conception of the kind 
of engine which might be relied upon to neutralize the 
growing German power in machine guns, combined with 
the most elaborate fortifications ever built on a grand 
scale. You see, their fire ascendency in the meantime 
had enabled them to dig in with their usual thoroughness. 
In October I returned to England to try to interest the 
authorities at the War Office in my idea. I had my 
troubles, but I did not have as many troubles as I might 
have had, because other men of their own accord were 
working along the same lines. 

"You must get this very straight, mind. Whatever 
credit there may be for inventing the tanks belongs not 
to any one man, but to many men — exactly how many 
nobody knows. It is even rather unfair to mention any 
names, my own as well as those of others. For, besides 
those men who actually worked to perfect the tanks, 
there were others who had conceived very similar ideas. 

"Still another proof of the plurality of tank inventors 
is the fact that while one group of us were endeavoring 
to interest the War Office in the idea, another group of 
men, entirely ignorant of what we were doing, were try- 
ing to get the Admiralty to take up a similar line of ex- 
perimentation. And it is no more than fair to point out 
that the first money provided for experimentation with 
landships, as we called them, came from Winston Spen- 
cer Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty. But 
he was only one of a number of men who played parts 
in the development of the finished engine. For example, 
there were two men in particular who worked out the 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 125 

mechanical problems. I wish I could give you their 
names, but I cannot." 

To the suggestion of the writer in The Post that it 
seemed strange that so many minds should have been 
working out the same idea at the same time, Colonel 
Swinton replied emphatically: 

"Not when you consider the situation. The tank, 
after all, is merely an elaboration, the last word, of 
military devices as old as the history of military engi- 
neering. Its ancestors were the armored automobile, 
the belfry or siege tower on wheels of the middle ages, 
and the Roman testudo. The need for the tank became 
apparent to many who studied the military problems 
demonstrated on the Western front. That is often so in 
the history of inventions, you know. A given problem 
occupies many minds simultaneously, and generally 
several reach a solution about the same time, even though 
perhaps one receives the credit for the invention above 
all the others." 

"You spoke about the mechanical problems of the 
tanks. What were they?" 

"Ah, there you are getting on delicate ground. I am 
glad to tell you all I can about the tanks, but I can't 
describe them — not beyond a certain point, that is. I 
will say just this — the peculiar original feature of them, 
upon which their efficiency most depends, is the construc- 
tion of their trackage. It is the feature which enables 
them not only to negotiate rough and broken ground, but 
to surmount obstacles and knock down trees and houses. 
But the full description of the tanks cannot be written 
until after the war." 

Colonel Swinton described the uproarious mirth of the 



126 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

British infantry on that morning when they had their 
first sight of the unwieldy tanks clambering over 
trenches, hills, small forests, and houses, spitting flames 
as they rolled, lolloping forward like huge armored mon- 
sters of the prehistoric past. 

"It gave our men quite a moral lift," he said. "They 
forgot their troubles. But they soon came to see that 
the tanks were more than funny, for wherever they at- 
tacked the infantry had comparative immunity from 
machine gun fire, and it is the German machine gun fire 
which always has been the principal obstacle for our 
troops." 

The name of the tank Colonel Swinton explained was 
originally a bit of camouflage. People who saw them 
in the process of erection variously described them as 
snowplows for the Russian front and water tanks for the 
armies in Egypt. »The latter name stuck. And it may 
not be generally known that this mechanical beast of 
war is divided into two sexes. 

"Some tanks are armed with small guns firing shells," 
said Colonel Swinton. "These are used especially 
against machine gun nests. They are popularly known 
in the tank unit as males. Other tanks carry machine 
guns and are intended primarily for use against enemy 
infantry. They are the females. Tliere is no difference 
in the construction." 

Colonel Swinton was detailed from his post in the 
British War Cabinet to act as assistant to Lord Reading 
in his mission to the United States to tighten the bonds 
of efficiency between the two countries in their war 
programs. 

During the fall of 1914, Colonel Swinton was the 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 127 

English official eye-witness of the fighting in Flanders 
and France. Before that he was perhaps best known to 
the general public as a writer of romances in which was 
skillfully woven the technique of war. One of his 
stories, "The Defense of Duffer's Drift," is used as a 
text-book at West Point. 



NOT A SELF-STARTER 

"Sam, you ought to get in the aviation service," a 
Chicago man told a negro last week. "You are a good 
mechanic and would come in handy in an aeroplane. 
How would you like to fly among the clouds a mile high 
and drop a few bombs down on the Germans ?" 

"I ain't in no special hurry to fly, Cap," the negro 
answered. "When wese up 'bout a mile high, s'pose de 
engine stopped and de white man told me to git out an' 
crank?" 



TRY IT ON YOUR WIFE 

Extract from lecture by N. C. O. : 

"Your rifle is your best friend, take every care of it ; 
treat it as you would your wife; rub it thoroughly with 
an oily rag every day." 



HE WAS GOING AWAY FROM THERE 

He — "So your dear count was wounded?" 
She — "Yes, but his picture doesn't show it." 
He— "That's a front view." 



TAKING MOVING PICTURES UNDER 
SHELL-FIRE 

TAKING moving pictures while exploding shells 
from pursuing warships and torpedo-boats are 
sending up geysers that splash your fleeing launch and 
stall the motor is a little out of the run of even an Amer- 
ican war correspondent's daily stunt. Capt. F. E. Klein- 
schmidt, who has been billeted with the Austrian marine 
forces at Trieste, has recently had such an experience 
while accompanying an expedition to the Italian coast 
to remove a field of mines, an occupation quite dangerous 
enough without the shell-fire. He tells this story in the 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch : 

Captain M , commander of the marine forces of 

Trieste, had told me I should hold myself ready at a 
moment's notice for an interesting adventure. Presum- 
ing it would be another airplane flight over the enemy's 
territory, I kept my servants and chauffeur up late, and 
then finally lay down, fully dressed, with cameras and 
instruments carefully overhauled and packed. At seven 
o'clock next morning the boatswain of the launch Lena 
called at the hotel and told me to follow him. "The 
captain," he said, "could not accompany me." But he 
had instructions to take me out to sea and then obey my 
orders. An auto took us to the pier, where a fast little 
launch was ready. This time she had a machine gun, 
with ready belt attached, mounted in her stern, and flew 
the Austrian man-of-war flag. Not until we were well 
out to sea did the boatswain tell me we were to sneak 
128 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 129 

over to the Italian shore and demolish a hostile mine 
field. The prevailing fog and exceptionally calm 
weather made it an ideal day to accomplish our purpose. 
The fog prevented the Italians from seeing us, and the 
calm sea made it possible to lift and handle the mines 
with a minimum of danger to ourselves. Two tugboats 
and a barge had already preceded us early in the morn- 
ing. After an hour's run the three vessels suddenly ap- 
peared before us, and we drew alongside the tugboat 
No. 10, already busy hoisting a mine. I jumped aboard 
and reported to Captain K , in charge of the expedi- 
tion. 

To my chagrin he refused to let me stay. The first 
reason was, it was too dangerous work, and he would not 
take the responsibility of my being blown up ; and, sec- 
ondly, we might be surprized by the Italians at any mo- 
ment and be sent to the bottom of the sea. All my argu- 
ing and insisting upon the orders from his superior 
proved useless. He insisted upon my return or written 
orders clearing him of all responsibility. So I had to 
go back in the launch to Trieste and report to Captain 

M about the scruples of the commander of the mine 

expedition. I also offered to leave my servants (two 
Austrian soldiers) ashore and sign a written waiver of 
all responsibility should anything happen to me. 

The ever-generous and obliging Captain M said 

he would accompany me himself, so out we raced for the 
second time, and I had the satisfaction to stay and photo- 
graph. The most dangerous work, namely, the lifting 
of the first mine, had been accomplished during my re- 
turn to Trieste. The nature of the beast had been 
ascertained. The construction was a new one, of the de- 



130 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

fensive type. With good care and a smooth sea, the 
mines could be hoisted, made harmless and be saved. 
There would be, he hoped, no explosions, and, working 
quietly, we would not draw an Italian fleet down upon us. 

There are mines of offensive and defensive purposes — 
such as you lay in front of your own harbors to protect 
you, and such as you lay in front of the doors of your 
enemy. The first ones you might want to move again; 
therefore, they are so constructed that you can handle 
them again, provided you know the secret of construc- 
tion. The other kind you don't expect to touch again, 
and they are, therefore, so constructed that anyone who 
tampers with them will blow himself up. Secondly, 
should the Italians surprize us, there would be little 
chance for us to escape. We could steam only about ten 
knots an hour, while any cruiser or torpedo could steam 
over twenty. The only armament we had was one 75- 
millimeter Hotchkiss gun in the bow. There would be 
no surrender, either. He would blow the barge and 
his own steamer up first. 

"Here," he said, pointing to a tin can the size of a 
tomato can, with ready short fuse attached, "is the bomb 
to be thrown in the barge, and here," looking down into 
the forward hold, "is the other one, ready to blow us into 
eternity. Now, if you want to stay, you're welcome ; if 
not, take the launch back to Trieste." 

Capt. M , after a brief inspection, went back with 

the launch to Trieste, while I stayed and photographed 
with the moving picture camera. 

There is a long international law governing the laying 
and exploding of mines, and there has been considerable 
controversy about the unlawful laying of anchored and 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 131 

drifting mines. There are land-, river-, and sea-mines. 
Mines laid for the protection of harbors are usually ex- 
ploded by electric batteries from an observing officer on 
shore. Others are exploded by contact. The mechanical 
devices to accomplish this are manifold. The policy ad- 
hered to is usually to construct a mine so as to incur the 
least danger, when handling them, to yourself, and with 
the opposite results to your enemy. This holds true 
as long as the secret of construction can be kept from 
the enemy. The Italians on a night invasion had 
dropped mines on the Austrian coast that would explode 
when tilted only at an angle of twenty-five degrees. A 
little vial of acid would spill over and explode the charge. 
One day, when a heavy sea was running, some of the 
mines exploded, betraying the location of the mine field, 
and the Austrians "killed" the rest of them with mine- 
sweepers. 

Mine fields are discovered by shallow-draft steamers 
looking for them in clear water or dragging for 
them. The aeroplane is also an excellent scout. 
From a height of 1,000 feet he can look a good 
depth into the sea and see a mine or submarine. On my 
flight over Grado, on the Italian coast, I could see a 
mine field and all shallows of a channel wonderfully 
well from a height of 6,000 feet. When the hydroplane 
sees a mine an automatic float is dropped that marks the 
locality, and the mines boat comes along and either lifts 
it or blows it up. 

Here these Italian mines were of a late and very ex- 
pensive construction. They consisted of three parts — 
the mine, the anchor, and a 100-pound weight; all three 
connected with a wire cable. The weight is an ordinary 



132 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

oval lump of iron, attached by a cable to the anchor. 
The anchor is a steel cylinder; the upper part is per- 
forated; the lower half is a tank with a hole in the bot- 
tom and sides to allow the water to enter and sink it. 
The mine is a globe two and one-half feet in diameter, 
which fits into the barrel-like anchor up to its equator. 

The weight, cable, and anchor holding the mine are 
rolled from the mine-laying ship, overboard. The 
weight sinks to the bottom, holding the mine in the spot. 
Next, the water entering the tank slowly fills it, and it 
sinks at the designated place. The mine, being 
buoyant, has detached itself from the sinking anchor 
and is pulled down with the anchor and floats now 
at a depth of eight to twelve feet from the surface. 
The water now dissolves a peculiar kind of cement that 
has held a number of pistons. The pistons, being re- 
leased, spring out and snap in place all around the 
equator of the mine. Comes a vessel in contact with 
the mine, these protruding points, made of brittle metal, 
break off and a spring releases a cartridge with explo- 
sive. This cartridge, with a detonating cap on the bot- 
tom, drops upon a point and explodes the initial charge, 
which again explodes the charge in the mine. 

In lifting the mine a rowboat with three men rows 
up over the mine, and by means of a tube shutting off the 
refraction of the light rays a person can look into the 
water. With a boat-hook and attached rope, a shackle 
on the top of the mine is caught, the pole unscrewed, the 
rope is taken into a winch aboard the steamer or barge, 
and the mine is then carefully hoisted. When the mine 
comes to the surface the mine engineer rows up, presses 
down a lever, and secures it with a steel pin. This per- 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 133 

formance locks the spring and prevents the cartridge 
from dropping on the piston. Next, the mine is hoisted 
on the barge, the top is unscrewed, and the cartridge 
holding the initial explosive charge is taken out, render- 
ing the mine harmless with ordinary handling. The 
cylinder-like anchor is then hoisted by the attached 
cable, and last the weight is brought up. 

We were busy hoisting and searching for mines till 3 
p. m. Another tugboat, the San Marco, was also steam- 
ing around in our vicinity, keeping a sharp lookout for 
hostile men-of-war, and also, when seeing a mine, drop- 
ping a float. The fog had lifted a little, and once in a 
while we could see the outlines of houses on the shore. 
We had six mines on the barge and three on our steamer, 
when the launch which had taken me out hove in sight 

to take me back for dinner. Captain K said: 

"Well, we have been lucky so far ; we have only one more 
mine to take up, and I had a good mind to blow it up and 
hike for home." 

"Good," I said, "then I'll unpack my cameras again 
and take a picture of the explosion." At this moment.the 
San Marco gave a signal of three short blasts. I looked 
toward the Italian coast and saw two men-of-war loom 
up in the fog; then two more. Two had four funnels 
each and were cruisers ; the other two were torpedo-boat 
destroyers. 

"Enemy in sight." " Clear the ship." "Jump aboard." 
"Cut the barge adrift," came in sharp commands from 
Captain K . 

Six men at the windlass were lowering a mine care- 
fully onto the deck of the barge. They let it drop so 
suddenly that the men guiding it jumped aside in terror. 



134 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

All hands jumped from the barge aboard our steamer. 
The ropes holding the barge alongside were cut, the bells 
clanged in the engine-room, and we shot ahead. Fog 
had momentarily blotted the vessels out again and gave a 
false sense of security. "Make the towing hawser fast; 
we'll tow her/' shouted K . Three men tried to be- 
lay the hawser, but we had too much headway on al- 
ready, and the rope tore through their fingers. 

"Throw the bomb into her." 

The bomb flew across, but fell short ; then I saw a flash 
of lightning in the fog, and the next moment a huge 
fountain of water rose on our starboard side, and the 
shell flew screaming past us. Boom ! boom ! boom ! Now 
all four ships gave us their broadsides and the stricken 
sea spouted geysers all around us and the San Marco. 
Screaming shells and roaring guns filled the fog. 

"Twelve hundred meters," quoth K . "They 

should soon get the range." I looked at our little Hotch- 
kiss on the fore deck — there was no use to reply even. 
The San Marco had described a half-circle and came 
running up astern of us as if, like a good comrade, she 
was going to share our fate with us. As she came 

abreast of our Barge K shouted, "Drop a bomb into 

her." 

"I have only one ready for my own ship," the captain 
yelled back. 

"They will get our whole day's work," growled 
K . 

"Hurray !" we all shouted the next minute, as a shell 
struck the barge full center, exploding the six mines and 
shattering it in bits, enveloping all in a dense cloud of 
black smoke. 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 135 

At this moment the other launch came alongside and 
raced along with us. I threw my cameras into it, and 
jumped aboard; then we sheared off again, so as not to 
give the enemy too big a target. 

Next minute three shells shrieked so close to our ears 
that we threw ourselves flat in the bottom of the launch 
and one shaved the deck of No. 10. There seemed to be 
no escape. The Italians cut us off from Trieste, and we 
headed for Miramar. They did not come nearer ; but the 
Lord knows they were near enough, and by rights they 
should have sent us to the bottom the first three shots. 
Even had they steamed directly up to us, they could have 
got us by the scruff of the neck in five minutes, for we 
could make only ten knots to their twenty-five. 

One fast torpedo-boat, risking what was a few hours 
ago their own mine field, and, of course, knowing nothing 
to the contrary, got the No. 10 and our launch in line 
and gave us all attention in the manner of a pot-hunter 
trying to rake us. I had just taken my moving picture 
camera out of its case and set it on the tripod when a 
shell struck three feet from the launch, raising a big 
geyser. The column of water descending douched us 
and stopped our motor. I had to dry off the spark plugs 
while the engineer got busy cranking. 

Happily, the motor sprang right on again, and I got 
back to the camera and commenced cranking. I tried 
to keep the No. 10 and the San Marco in the view- 
finder in case they should get hit, and endeavored to get 
the spouting of the shells. I got about one hundred feet 
of it, but it is a tame illustration of all the excitement of 
a race between life and death. The Italians with their 
speed, having passed us, now swung around again and 



136 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

edged us off from Miramar, so we held to the west of it 
for our shore batteries. 

All this time we kept wondering why the next shell 
didn't strike one of us. Then we saw one of our sub- 
marines just diving to the periscope. By this time we 
came nearly within range of our shore batteries, and one 
of them began to bark at the Italians, but at such range 
and in the fog they must have just tried to scare them, 
for we couldn't even see the shells hitting the water. 
However, we escaped "by the skin of our teeth." 

As the fog had lifted a little around noon, and we 
could see the houses on shore, evidently the lookouts had 
reported our presence and the Italians had left Grado to 
tackle us. The obscurity of the fog, the strange-looking 
barge, the San Marco, the proximity of the mine fields, 
all this had rendered the Italians so cautious that they 
were satisfied to run parallel with us and give us their 
broadside. The last we saw of them was when they 
swung more and more around toward their own coast 
and were again enveloped in the fog. They were the 
same four vessels that had bombarded us the day before, 

when I flew with Lieut. D in a hydroplane over 

Grado. 



COSTS MORE NOW 



Adam gave one rib and got a wife. Robert Kirton, 
of Pittsburgh, back from the front, lost seven ribs and 
then married his Red-Cross nurse. This shows the in- 
creased cost of living. 



WEIGHTY MEASURES INVOLVING 
UNCLE SAM'S NAVY 

THIS is the story of a conspiracy against Uncle Sam 
— a patriotic plot to be sure, for it is concerned 
with the son of a Spanish War veteran who was rej ected 
for service in Uncle Sam's Navy because he was seven 
pounds shy of weight for height, the said son's up-and- 
down dimension being full six feet. It is a story of 
superfeeding conducted while the young man was skill- 
fully kept a prisoner — albeit a willing one, but just to 
guard against his "jumping his feed" — by placing his 
nether garments carefully under lock and key. The 
New York Sun tells the tale and its happy outcome. It 
happened in this way : 

Young Walter Francis everlastingly did want to get 
into the Navy and stop this £7-boat nonsense once and 
for all. Wherefore last Saturday bright and early 
Potential Admiral Francis took his bearings from the 
compass he wears on his watch chain, yelled, "Ship 
ahoy !" to the skipper of a passing Brooklyn trolley car, 
boarded a starboard seat well aft in the car, and then 
set sail over the waves of Brooklyn asphalt toward the 
recruiting plant of the Second Naval Battalion of Brook- 
lyn at the foot of Fifty-second street, Bay Ridge. 

"Step on," directed the examining surgeon to young 
Mr. Francis, indicating the scales in his office. "Step off. 
Now step out — you're seven pounds shy for a six-footer." 

Half an hour later Walter Francis, dej ected and for- 
lorn, appeared before his father. 

137 



138 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

" 'Smatter, son?" inquired the Spanish War vet 

" 'Smatter, pop ! There's seven pounds the matter ! 
Uncle Sam can do without me." 

Mrs. Francis came into the room and heard the de- 
pressing news of her short-weight son, and straightway 
conspiracy stalked silently upon the scene. Says the 
writer in the Sun: 

A moment later a significant look passed between 
father and mother above and back of the bowed head of 
their son. Mr. and Mrs. Francis withdrew to the kitchen 
for a council of war. Then Spanish-American War 
Veteran Joe Francis walked into the front room again 
and stood before his underweight offspring. 

"Take off our pants, Walter/' said Francis, senior, 
"And give me your — don't sit there staring at me; get 
busy — give me your shoes. Ma, catch the boy's pants 
when I throw 'em out to you. Lock his pants and shoes 
up with all his other pants and then start in cooking. 
Cook up everything you got in the house. And when you 
get a chance run down to Gilligan's and tell him to send 
up five pounds of dried apples." 

"I'm on, pop !" suddenly shouted Embryo Admiral 
Walter Francis, springing to his feet alive once more. 
"You're going to feed me up for a couple of weeks so I'll 
make the weight. Gosh, you're there with the bean, pop 
— I never woulda thought of the scheme." 

"For a couple of weeks !" cried Parent Francis scorn- 
fully. "For a couple of days, you mean, son. Come on 

into the dining-room and start right in to . No, stay 

right where you are. Don't move from now on unless 
you have to or you might lose another ounce. You just 
sit right there all day. Ma will do the cooking and I'll 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 139 

be the waiter. And if you're not up to weight inside of 
three days then I'm a German spy. And don't weaken. 
Just keep in mind that even if you do it won't get you 
anything. For I'm going to keep the key to all your 
pants right in my pocket till you cripple the weighing 
scales. So all you're going to do from now on is stick 
around and eat." 

Already Mrs. Francis had passed into the room a 
nightshirt and a three-quart pitcher brimming with 
sparkling Croton. Without a pause Parent Francis 
had filled a tumbler and passed it on to his offspring, 
who eagerly drained the glass. Tumbler after tumbler 
of water was tumbled into the digestive system of the 
underweight linotyper, while steadily from the kitchen 
came the happy sizzling of four pork chops and fast- 
frying potatoes with trimmings. 

Twenty-one glasses of water disappeared into young 
Walter Francis before Saturday's sun had set, together 
with all the pork chops, the fried potatoes, thick slices 
of buttered bread, and some other snacks. 

The Sunday treatment included fourteen glasses of 
water and a general packing-in of fattening fodder, 
until dinner-time arrived, when son Walter was fed 
up on two pounds of steak smothered in boiled potatoes 
with trimmings of stewed corn and mashed turnips, all 
resting on a solid foundation of well-buttered bread and 
roofed with a generous slab of apple pie. And then: 

One and one-quarter pounds of mutton-chops merely 
formed the architectural approaches to the breakfast 
Walter Francis found staring him in the face when he 
arose heavily on Monday morning. Ham and eggs in 
groups — salty ham which hadn't been parboiled, thus 



140' STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

retaining its thirst-arousing properties — was the center- 
piece around which the luncheon Mrs. Francis had pre- 
pared that day for her son was draped. A dinner that 
ran all the way from soup to nuts (the time was grow- 
ing short if Parent Francis was to make good on his 
promises) followed on Monday night, the big noise of 
the Monday dinner being a sirloin steak. 

And just before Son Francis decided to call it a day 
and waddle to bed Spanish-American War Veteran 
Francis had a final happy thought. Father fed son a 
plentiful supply of dried apples and then unleashed a 
growler and went down to the corner and got a quart 
of collarless beer. Walter Francis flooded the dried 
apples with the entire quart of beer, cried "Woof! 
I'm a hippopotamus !" and collapsed into bed. 

Tuesday morning last Father and Mother Francis 
personally helped their son toward the street-door after 
he had breakfasted on five pork-chops, two cups of 
coffee and four rolls. Once more he was about to set 
sail for the Second Naval Battalion recruiting office at 
the foot of Fifty-second Street, where three days earlier 
he had been turned down as hopelessly shy on tonnage. 
Parent Francis helped his bouncing boy aboard the 
trolley-car, shouting a last word of caution to walk, not 
run, to the nearest entrance to the recruiting station. 

And just before young Mr. Francis applied again foi 
the job of ridding the seas of £7-boats (it should be 
mentioned incidentally that about half an hour earlier 
his father had unlocked a pair of pants and other gent's 
furnishings for the trip) the potential admiral saw the 
burnished sign on a corner saloon. He got off the car 
carefully, drank seven glasses of water in the saloon 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 141 

and then eased his way into the presence of the surgeon 
who had given him the gate on Saturday. 

"I told you before you were many pounds under- 
weight, young man," said the surgeon. "It's utterly 
useless for you to come around here when " 

"But that was away last week, Doc," wheezed young 
Mr. Francis. "Give me another try at your scales." 

"My Gordon !" cried the surgeon, glancing at the 
scales and uttering his favorite cuss-word. "Saturday 
you were seven pounds under weight and to-day you're 
a pound overweight! How'd yuh ever do it?" 

"I've heard of lads getting their teeth pulled to get 
out of serving Uncle Sam, but you're the first guy I ever 
heard of who made a fool of his stummick to get into 
the Navy," grinned Bos'n Carroll as Walter Francis 
bared his brawny arm for the vaccine. "Welcome to 
our ocean, Kid !" 



NEVER TALK BACK 

" and then the Germans charged, and the captain 

shouted, 'Shoot at will/ and I shouted, 'Which one is 
he?' And then they took away my gun, and now I 
can't play any more." 



GOING HOME 



Visitor — "And what did you do when the shell struck 
you?" 

Bored Tommy — "Sent mother a post-card to have my 
bed aired." 



ENLISTED MEN TELL WHY THEY 
JOINED THE ARMY 

OUR first forces in France were volunteers, part of 
the old regular Army, though many of the enlist- 
ments were recent. The motives leading men to join 
such an army are varied and in many cases humorous 
or pathetic. A Y. M. C. A. secretary in France, who 
had won the confidence of the men with whom he was 
associated, wondered why each man had come. So he 
arranged that they should hand in cards telling why 
they had enlisted. Mr. Arthur Gleason presents some 
of the answers in the New York Tribune as "the first 
real word from the soldier himself of why he has offered 
himself." These replies came from two battalions of 
an infantry regiment, which, for military reasons can 
not be identified. Mr. Gleason puts them in several 
groups. One is the sturdily patriotic. Thus, one 
soldier says: 

"My reason in 1907 was that I liked the service and 
wanted to try for something new and bright for my 
country." 

Others say: "Because my country needs me"; "to 
catch Villa"; "I wanted to get the Kaiser's goat"; "for 
the benefit of the American Army"; "so patriotic and 
didn't know what it was"; "Mexican trouble, 1917"; 
"I felt like my country needed me, and I wanted to 
do something for it, and that was the only way I was 
able to do anything for my dear country, the good old 
U. S. A."; "I never did anything worth while on the 

142 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 143 

outside, so I dedicated myself to my country that I 
might be of some use to some one"; "a couple of Ger- 
mans"; "to serve God and my country." 

Another class of answers deal with what is in the 
blood of youth — the desire to taste adventure, to see 
the world, and see France. Here are a few in this 
group : 

"To do my duty and see the world"; "to see the 
world, ha! ha!"; "because I thought I would like that 
kind of a life, and didn't know what kind of a life I 
would have to lead in this hole" ; "got tired of staying 
at home"; "I was seeking adventure and change of 
environments"; "to kill time and fight"; "to see 
France"; "I was discouraged with the civilian life and 
wanted to get some excitement"; "to have a chance to 
ride on the train; I never had ridden"; "they said I was 
not game and I was, and because I wished to" ; "because 
I wouldn't stay in one place any length of time, I 
thought if I joined the Army for three or seven years 
I would be ready to settle down. I think that is as 
good a thing as any boy could do" ; "to see the world" ; 
"I had tried everything else, so I thought I would try 
the Army." 

Another group of answers deal with the individual 
human problem of hunger and loneliness. These that 
follow illustrate this: 

"To fight, and for what money was in it"; "three 
good square meals and a bath"; "because I was dis- 
gusted with myself and thought it would make a man 
out of me"; "I was too lazy to do anything else"; "I 
was stewed"; "to get some clothes, a place to sleep and 
something to eat"; "because I was hungry"; "because 



144 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

I was nuts with the dobey heat" (dobey is a Mexican 
slang word brought up by the boys from the border) ; 
"because I had to keep from starving;" "in view of the 
fact that I was so delicate and a physical wreck I 
joined the Army, hoping to get lots of fresh air and 
exercise, which I have sure gotton, and am ready to go 
home at any time"; "I was in jail and they came and 
got me. Hard luck!"; "because I did not have no 
home"; "I got hungry"; "pork and beans were high at 
the time"; "three square meals a day and a flop." 

The voice of State rights speaks in the replies of two 
men from the South: 

"To represent the State of Kentucky." 
"In answer to a call from my State, Mississippi, and 
to see something of the world, and I have seen some of 
the world, too." 

Then, too, there are a number that refuse to be 
classified; each has its own note of suffering or audacity 
of humor: 

"To catch the Kaiser"; "because the girls like a 
soldier"; "because my girl turned her back on me, that's 
all"; "I thought I was striking something soft, but 
. . . " ; "the dear ones at home" ; "I was crazy" ; "two 
reasons: because girls like soldiers and I saw a sign 
'500,000 men wanted to police up France'"; "for my 
health and anything else that is in it" (a consumptive 
soldier) ; "to show that my blood was made of the Amer- 
ican's blood"; "to learn self-control"; "it was a mis- 
take; I didn't know any better"; "for my adopted 
country"; "I got drunk on Saturday, the Fourth of 
July, 1913, and I left home on the freight-train and 
joined the Army, and woke up the next morning getting 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 145 

two sheets in the wind, and I haven't got drunk since 
that ; made a man out of me" ; "to keep from working, 
but I got balled"; "I have not seen anything yet but 
rain"; "because I didn't know what I was doing"; 
"to kill a couple of Germans for the wrong done 
Poland"; "to keep from wearing my knuckles out on the 
neighbors' back doors"; "adventure and experience; 
also, to do my little bit for my country, the good old 
U. S. A., and the Stars and Stripes, the flag of free- 
dom"; "to fight for my country and the flag, for the 
U. S. is a free land, and we will get the Kaiser, damn 
him. Oh, the U. S. A.!" (Picture of a flag.) 

One man makes out a complete category of his 
reasons: (a) "To see excitement"; (6) "to help win this 
war and end the Kaiser's idea of world ruler" ; (c) "help 
free the German people from Kaiserism." 

And, finally, there is one that needs no comment, and 
with this we will end: 

"Because mother was dead and I had no home." 



THE NATIONAL GAME 

Teacher — "What lessons do we learn from the attack 
on the Dardanelles?" 

Prize Scholar — "That a strait beats three kings, dad 
says." 



TOMMY ATKINS, RAIN-SOAKED AND 
WAR-WORN STILL GRINS 

FREDERIC WILLIAM WILE, one of the Vig- 
ilantes, differs with Sherman in declaring that 
war is mud. He had just returned from what he 
describes as one of the periodical joy-rides which the 
British Foreign Office and the General Staff organize 
from time to time to give civilians an opportunity to 
visit the front. Mr. Wile's visits occurred when the 
war-god was evidently taking a much-needed rest, for 
he says that on two occasions when he intruded upon 
Armageddon he saw more rain than blood spilled. But 
he found Tommy Atkins — mud-caked and rain-soaked — 
still wearing the grin that won't come off. Mr. Wile 
thus writes of his last visit: 

I am in to-night from a day in the trenches. It rained 
all the time. The trenches were gluey and sticky, and 
the "duck-boards" along which we traveled were afloat 
a good share of the day. But the only people who 
used really strong language about having to eat, sleep, 
and navigate in such soggy territory was our party of 
civilian tenderfoots. The cave-dwellers in khaki whom 
we encountered in endless numbers were as happy as 
school-children on a picnic. Clay-spattered from head 
to foot, their clothes often wringing wet, they looked 
up from whatever happened to be their tasks and 
grinned as we passed. 

Our chief and always dominating impression was of 
their grins and smiles. I am firmly convinced that 
146 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 147 

soldiers who can laugh in such weather can not be 
overcome by anything, not even the Prussian military 
machine. Perhaps Tommy smiled more broadly than 
usual to-day at our expense, for during our hike from 
a certain quarry to a certain front line "Fritz" sent 
over whiz-bangs which caused us arm-chair warriors 
from home to duck and dodge in the most un-Napo- 
leonic fashion, even though our gyrations were in 
obedience to nature's first law — self-preservation. 

When you're in a trench and a shell screeches through 
the heavens — you always hear it and never see it — the 
temptation to side-step is the last word in irresistibility. 
You have been provided with a steel helmet before 
starting out on the expedition in view of the possibility 
that a stray piece of German shrapnel may come your 
way. These helmets have saved many a gallant Tommy 
from sudden death. 

After you've heard a whiz-bang and find that you 
are still intact, you ask: "Was that a Boche or one of 
curs?" You experience an indefinable sense of relief 
when you are told that it was "one of ours," but you 
keep on ducking in the same old way whenever the 
air is rent. 

Yes, it is the invincible grin of Tommy Atkins in 
abominable atmospheric surroundings and in the omni- 
present shadow of death that has photographed itself 
most indelibly on my memory to-day. But next to that 
I am struck by his amazing good health as mirrored by 
his ruddy cheeks and bright eyes. Certainly the strap- 
ping young fellows whom I have seen are a vastly finer, 
sturdier lot, physically viewed, than any set of men 
now running around the streets of London in citizens* 



148 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

clothes. It is manifestly "the life," this endless sojourn 
of theirs on the edge of No Man's Land, with the enemy 
a rifle-shot away. 

You ask their officers what explains this hygienic 
phenomenon — this ability to keep at the top note of 
"fitness" amid privations almost unimaginable. You 
will be told that it is the remorselessly "regular life" 
the men lead for one thing, and the liberal supply of 
fresh air, for another. Then it is the simple food they 
eat and the never-ending exercise they get for their legs 
and arms and muscles. They sleep when and where 
they can, in their clothes for weeks on end, never say- 
ing "How-do-you-do?" to a bath-tub sometimes for many 
days, though they shave each morning with religious 
punctuality, even in the midst of a mighty "push." 
Cleanliness of physiognomy is as much a passion with 
Mr. Atkins as his daily ablutions are to a pious Turk. 
You will go far before you will find a cleaner-faced 
aggregation of young men than the British Army in 
the field. 

Should you have any doubt as to what the physical 
appearance of the men tells you, and ask an officer 
how Tommy is standing the strain of the war, he 
declares enthusiastically, "The men are simply splen- 
did !" And you hear from the men that the officers are 
"top-hole." But all that you will learn from the officers 
on that subject is: 

Regulation No. 1, when a man gets a commission 
in the British Army, is : "Men first, officers next." An 
officer's business, in other words, is to see that his men 
are well looked after. If there is any time left when 
he has done that, he may look after himself. But 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 149 

Tommy comes first. That is why the relations between 
superior and subordinate in the mighty Citizens' Army 
of Britain are perfect in the highest degree. Duke's 
son and cook's son are real pals. Class distinctions 
are non-existent in the England that is the trenched 
fields of France and Flanders. 

"Just so we keep on livin' — that's all we ask/' was 
the sententious observations of a mud-clotted York- 
shireman who backed against the slimy wall of a trench 
to let us pass. We had asked him the stereotyped ques- 
tion — "Well, Tommy, how goes it?" His answer was 
unmistakably typical of the spirit which dominates the 
whole army. The men are not happy to be there. 
They long for the war to end. They do not put in 
their time in the slush and rain cheering and singing. 
They hanker for "Blighty." They want to go home. 
But not until the grim business that brought them to 
France is satisfactorily finished. They want no Stock- 
holm-made peace. They are fighting for a knock-out. 

I left behind me in London a lot of dismal, gloomy, 
and down-hearted friends, candidates all for the Pes- 
simists' Club. I wish they could have hiked through the 
trenches with me. It is the finest cure in the world 
for the blues. It may thunder and pour day and night 
in Trenchland, and the country may be a morass for 
miles in every direction, but the sun of optimism and 
confidence is always shining in the British Army's 
heart. 



SOMETHING NEW FOR THE MARINES 

"TF CORPORAL ever wrote a better story for 

JL his newspaper than the one he has sent to us, I 
should certainly like to read it." This high praise comes 
from Maj. W. H. Parker, head of the Marine Recruiting 
Service in New York, and is bestowed upon a letter in 
The Recruiters' Bulletin, which was written by a marine, 
formerly a reporter in Philadelphia and now "Some- 
where in France." He rejoices at the start that "at 
last it is happening," which "happening" is that the 
marines, "every scrapping one of them down to the last 
grizzled veteran, are undergoing new experiences — 
learning new tricks." Of course this is beyond possi- 
bility, everybody will say, and the ex-reporter admits 
that- 
One would think so after hearing of their experi- 
ences in far-away China, Japan, and the Philippines, 
near-by Cuba, Haiti, and Mexico, and other places which 
God forgot and which you and I never heard of; after 
hearing stories of daredevil bravery, fierce abandon 
and disregard for life and limb in the faithful discharge 
of their duties as soldiers of the sea and guardians of 
the peace in Uncle Sam's dirty corners. 

And yet here in France, among people of their own 
color and race, of paved streets and taxicabs, among the 
old men and women of the villages, among the poilus 
coming and going in a steady stream to and from the 
front, the marine is learning new things every day. 
150 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 151 

Packing up "back home" on a few hours' notice is 
no new experience to the marine. Marching aboard a 
transport, with the date and hour of sailing unknown, 
is taken as a matter of course by the veteran. There 
is no cheering gallery, no weeping relatives, wife, or 
sweethearts, as he leaves to carry out the business in 
hand. It is just the same as if you were going to your 
office in the morning. You may return in time for dinner 
or you may be delayed. The only difference is that 
sometimes the marines do not return. 

Although life aboard the transport which carried the 
first regiment of marines to new fields of action in 
France was a matter of routine to the average sea-going 
soldier, there was added the zest of expectation of an 
encounter with one of the floating perils, the "sub." It 
was but a matter of two or three days, however, when 
everyone became accustomed to the numerous lookouts 
stationed about the ship, the frequent "abandon ship" 
drills, the strange orders which came down the line, and 
the new-fangled rules and regulations which permitted 
no lights or smoking after sundown. 

Kaiser "Bill's" pet sharks were contemptuously re- 
ferred to as the "tin lizzies" of the sea. "We must play 
safe and avoid them," was the policy of those entrusted 
with the safety of more than 2,000 expectant fighters, 
however. And we met them, too. Not one or two of 
them, but — (here the censor interfered.) 

Since his arrival in France the marine has spent day 
after day in learning new things, not the least of which 
is that contrary to his usual experience of finding about 
him a hostile people, rifle in hand, and unknown danger 
ahead, he is among a people who welcome him as a 



152 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

friend and ally in the struggle against a common enemy. 
With the arrival of the American troops, the appealing 
outstretched hands of France were changed to hands of 
welcome, creating an atmosphere that might easily have 
turned the heads of men more balanced than the marines 
after being confined for more than two weeks aboard a 
ship, but — 

Here, again, one comes in contact with the matter-of- 
fact administration of the marines. Arriving under such 
circumstances, the landing and encampment of the ma- 
rines were effected with a military precision and busi- 
nesslike efficiency which allowed no one for a moment 
to forget the serious nature of the mission upon which 
he had embarked. 

Stores and supplies were loaded on trucks and, in 
less than three hours after the order was given to dis- 
embark, the marines, with their packs strapped over the 
shoulders, were marching to their camp just on the out- 
skirts of the seaport town of . Within another hour 

the whole regiment was under canvas, field-desks and 
typewriter-chests were unlocked, and regimental and 
other department offices were running along at full 
swing. 

And that was the beginning of the period of training 
during which the marine is learning everything that is 
to be known about waging twentieth-century warfare. 
He is taking a post-graduate course in the intricacies of 
modern trench-building, grenade-throwing, and barbed- 
wire entanglements. And the very best men of the 
French Army are his instructors. 

The marine is also learning the "lingo" of this coun- 
try, the nicer phrases of the language as well as the 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 153 

slang of the trenches. But in the majority of cases 
experience was his teacher. Upon the arrival of the 
transport liberty hours were arranged for the marines, 
and, armed with a "Short Vocabulary of French Words 
and Phrases/' with which all had been supplied, they 
invaded the cafes, restaurants, and shops of the little 
old seaport town. 

And it was the restaurants where one's ignorance of 
French was most keenly felt. All sorts of queer and yet 
strangely familiar noises emanated from the curtained 
windows of the buvettes along the streets. Upon inves- 
tigation it would be discovered that a marine, having lost 
his "vocabulary/' was flapping his arms and cackling for 
eggs, earnestly baahing for a lamb stew, or grunting to 
the best of his ability in a vain endeavor to make 
madame understand that he wanted roast pork. Imagine 
his chagrin to find that "pig" and "pork," as shown on 
page 16, are "pore" in French and are pronounced just 
the same as in good old American. But the scenes that 
presented themselves on Sundays or fete days — take the 
4th or 14th of July, for example — were such as never 
had been seen in any French town before. Picture a 
tiny cafe, low and whitewashed, ancient, weather-beaten, 
but immaculately clean, with its heavy ceiling-beams 
and huge fireplace with brass and copper furnishings. 
With this background imagine just as many tables as the 
little place can hold about which are crowded French 
and American soldiers, sailors, and marines. 

The table in the corner there, for instance : two poilus, 
two American "jackies," two marines, and an old Breton 
peasant farmer with his wife, fat, uncomprehending, 
and wild-eyed, and his daughter, red-lipped and of fair 



154 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

complexion — these three in from the country for a holi- 
day, the women arrayed in the black cloth and velvet 
costumes, bright-colored silk aprons, and elaborate linen 
head-dress which identify them as native of a certain 
locality. 

One of the "jackies" sings with gusto service songs 
of strong and colorful language, singing to himself save 
for the half-amused and wondering stares of the peas- 
ants. The younger of the Frenchmen shows by taking 
off his coat and unbuttoning his shirt where the shell- 
fragment penetrated which caused the paralysis in his 
left arm and sent him home on a month's furlough, and 
the Americans eye with interest the actual fragment 
itself, now doing duty as a watch-charm. 

But the hubbub and racket cease, and every one rushes 
to the windows and door as the Marine Band comes 
swinging along the water-front, playing with catching 
rhythm "Our Director." The French burst out in cries 
of "Vive VAmerique!" The fever spreads, and our 
soldiers and sailors yell "Vive la France!" or as near to 
it as they can get, as the procession marches by, and the 
fat old peasant woman says with full approval, "That's 
beautiful !" 

Another letter from the permanent training-camp of 
the marines, published in The Recruiters' Bulletin, 
tells of an inspection of the regiment by General Persh- 
ing and General Petain, the French Commander-in- 
Chief. We read "that the piercing eyes of 'Black Jack' 
rarely miss an unshaven face, badly polished shoes, or 
the sloppy appearance of anyone" among the soldiers 
under inspection, and the writer relates : 

Together with the Commander-in-Chief of all the 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 155 

French forces and accompanied by several French gen- 
erals, representing the most important military units in 
France, General Pershing made one of his now famous 
whirlwind inspection tours and descended upon the 
marines amid a cloud of dust which marked the line of 
travel of the high-powered French touring-cars which 
carried the generals. Not so very long before that the 
field-telephone in the regimental office rang and a voice 
came over the wire: 

"The big blue machine is on the way down, and 
will probably be there in ten minutes." That was suffi- 
cient. Two or three telephone-calls were hurriedly 
made, and the Colonel, accompanied by his staff, pro- 
ceeded on "up the line," met the General's party, and 
the marines were ready. 

The result of the inspection is summed up in the 
memorandum issued to the command and which says in 
part: "Yesterday, at the inspection of the regiment by 

General , Commander-in-Chief of all the French 

forces, General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the 
American forces in France, and General , com- 
manding the Division Chasseurs, who are instruct- 
ing our men, General congratulated the Colonel 

of our regiment on the splendid appearance of officers 
and men as well as the cleanliness of the town. General 
Pershing personally told the regimental commander that 
he wished to congratulate him on having such an excel- 
lent regiment." 

This announcement was read to the marines as they 
were lined up for their noonday meal. And where is 
the marine whose chest would not swell just a bit at 
this tribute paid by General Pershing to those upon 



156 STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 

whose shoulders rests the responsibility of maintaining 
and perpetuating the glorious history and fine tradi- 
tions of the United States Marine Corps ? 



JUDGING BY HIS LETTERS 

"Where's your uncle, Tommy?" 

"In France." 

"What is he doing?" 

"I think he has charge of the war." 



BLESS THESE AMATEURS 

'What are you knitting, my pretty maid?" 
She purled, then dropped a stitch. 

'A sock or a sweater, sir," she said, 
"And darned if I know which !" 



NEW GROUNDS FOR EXEMPTION 

The two young girls watched the "nutty young Cuth- 
bert" pass along the street. 

"Did he appeal for exemption?" said May. 

"Yes," said Ray, "you might have known he would." 

"On what grounds ?" 

"I don't know," replied Ray, "unless it was upon the 
ground that if he went to the war his wife's father would 
have no son-in-law to support." 



STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES 157 

SOUSA'S LITTLE JOKE 

Lieut. John Philip Sousa, who is organizing military 
bands for the navy, was talking to a correspondent about 
the submarine danger. 

"A friend of mine, a cornet virtuoso," he said, "was 
submarined in the Mediterranean. The English paper 
that reported the affair worded it thus : 

" 'The famous cornetist, Mr. Hornblower, though sub- 
marined by the Germans in the Mediterranean, was able 
to appear at Marseilles the following evening in four 
pieces.' " 



RAPID MILITARY ADVANCEMENT 

A certain west end tailor, being owed a considerable 
amount by a colonel who was received everywhere in 
society, made a bargain with the gentleman. He stipu- 
lated that instead of paying his debt, the colonel should 
introduce himself and family into high society. To this 
the colonel agreed and not long after the tailor received 
an invitation to dinner. 

When the tailor arrived in the full glory of a perfect 
evening dress, the colonel did not recognize him. 

"Pardon me, my dear fellow," he said quietly, as he 
shook hands, "I quite forget your name!" 

"Quite likely!" sneered the tailor, also sotto voce. 
"But I made your breeches !" 

"Ah, yes !" said the colonel, smiling. And then, turn- 
ing to his wife, said : "Allow me to introduce you, dear 
— Major Bridges!" 



FORD SMILES 



160 Page*. Paper Covert. Price 30 cent* 

BY CARLETON B. CASE. 



(Spring of 1917.) The very newest, largest and 
choicest collection of merry quips about our friend 
the Ford car, all good-natured and laughable, with 
nothing to offend even Mr. Henry Ford himself. 
The author went to Detroit and obtained some of 
the new jokes in this book right at the Ford fac- 
tory. You can't help laughing, whether you own 
a Ford car or not, at the funny things in "Ford 
Smiles/' When you get this book of humor we ask 
you to read the short Preface to it; it explains, in 
the author's opinion, why every good Ford joke 
is a compliment to that great invention — the Ford 
Motor Car. Probably you hadn't thought of it that 
way. 

SHREWESBURY PUBLISHING CO. 

5525 South Boulevard Chicago, U. S. A. 



ANECDOTES OF THE GREAT 
WAR 

Gathered from European Sources 

160 Pages Paper Covers Price 30 Cents 

BY CARLETON B. CASE 

(Just off the press. ) The funny things 
which the combatants say and do in the 
present great conflict in Europe and Asia, 
the recruits' blunders, the stay-at-homes' 
excuses, the bulls of the Irish fighters, the 
jokes on the officers and on the lads in the 
trenches, — these and many other amusing 
anecdotes of the war are to be found in 
this book in great detail. It is the only 
collection of its kindj and is gathered direct 
from the press of the European nations en- 
gaged in the war, especially for this work. 
Contains nothing to offend any nationality, 
but everything to amuse and entertain the 
reader. 



SHREWESBURY PUBLISHING CO. 

5525 South Boulevard, CHICAGO 



THE SHREWESBURY SERIES OF 

Popular Entertainment Books 

Edited by Carleton B. Case 

A Batch of Smiles (humor) 

A Little Nonsense " 

Flashes of Irish Wit 

Some Irish Smiles " 

Stories from the Trenches " 

Anecdotes of the Great War " 

The Sunny Side of Life " 

Vaudeville Wit " 

Ford Smiles " 

Wit and Humor of Abraham Lincoln " 

New Book of Conundrums and Riddles 

How to Write Love-Letters 

Art of Making Love 

Etiquette for Every Occasion 

Gypsy Witch Fortune-Teller 

Telling Fortunes by Cards 

Gypsy Witch Dream Book 

Oriental Dream Book 

Herrmann's Wizards' Manual 

Card Tricks 

The Amateur Trapper 

How to Box 

Comic Declamations and Readings 

Wartime and Patriotic Selections 

Junior Recitations 

Holiday Recitations 

District School Recitations 

Children's Select Recitations and Dialogues 

Comic Dialogues for Boys and Girls 

Jolly Dialogues 

Junior Dialogues 

High School Dialogues 

Entertaining Dialogues 

Fun for Friday Afternoons (dialogues) 

Friday Afternoon Dramas 

The very latest works of their kind. Uniform in 
style. Procurable where you bought this book, or will 
be sent postpaid by the publishers on receipt of price, 
30 cents each. 

SHREWESBURY PUBLISHING CO. 

SS2S South Boulevard, CHICAGO 



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